Adonis is a genus of about 20–30 species of flowering plants of the crowfoot family, Ranunculaceae, native to Europe and Asia.

Adonis vernalis, spring pheasant's eye
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Subfamily: Ranunculoideae
Tribe: Adonideae
Genus: Adonis

See text

A rare pied Adonis in Behbahan
A rare pied Adonis in Behbahan

The species grow to 10–40 centimetres (3.9–15.7 in) in height, with feathery, finely divided leaves. Their flowers are red, yellow or orange and have 5–30 petals. The Autumn Adonis, pheasant's-eye (A. annua), has flowers with bright red petals.

The generic name Adonis refers to the mythical character Adonis, a lover of the goddess Aphrodite or Venus, and of Persephone, goddess of the underworld. Red flowers of the Adonis genus are said to have grown from the grave of Adonis, after he was slain by a wild boar possessed with unusual viciousness through instigation by the jealous Ares.[1] According to the Metamorphoses of Ovid[2] the anemone, also of the family Ranunculaceae, was created when Venus sprinkled nectar on his blood.

Selected species edit

Systematics edit

Initial characterization by Wang Wen-Tsai[3][4]

Morphological Cladogram of Adonis
Wang Wen-Tsai

Subgen. 1. Adonanthe (Spach) edit

Perennial herbs, with robust rhizomes. Some or all of the basal leaves are reduced to vaginiform scales at the lower stem ridges. The last lobe of the leaves is ovate, triangular, lanceolate or linear. Petals (7-8-)9 or more, yellow, white, or blue, not dark-spotted at the base. The anthers are muddy. Carpel not dorso-ventrally compressed, dorsally not longitudinally ribbed, more or less distinct into ovary and style, ovaries usually pubescent rarely glabrous. Aggregate fruit broadly ovoid or globose, with an oblong or lanceolate receptacle. Type: A. vernalia L.

Sect. 1 Leiocarpa edit

Basal leaves 3-5 normally developed, 3-pinnate-sectate, long petiolate, base broadly and thinly sheathed, oblong plates, circ. 4 reduced to thinly membranous dark-brown narrowly ovate or oblong scales 7-10mm wide. The stem leaves all developed normally. Achenium glabrous, smooth, arched-convex on the back, lacking a transverse crest, longitudinally 2-ribbed on both sides, persistent style short circ. 0.8mm long straight. Type: A. nepalensis Simon

Sect. 2 Ancistrocarpium edit

Basal leaves 1-3 normally developed. 3-4-ternate-pinnate-secta, long petiolate, triangular plates, 3-5 membranous dark-brown oblong or ovate-oblong circ. 1.5 cm wide reduced, rarely reduced to vaginiform scales. The leaves of the stem are all normally developed, the lowest one long petiolate. Achenium glabrous or pubescent, dorsum arched-convex, rarely truncate at very convex apex, provided with a narrow transverse crest or lacking it, inconspicuously or distinctly longitudinally veined on both sides, persistent style more or less elongate 1.2-4mm long with hooked-curved apex. Type: A. chrysosyatha Hook. f. and Thomas

Sect. 3 Adonanthe edit

Basal leaves all with lower stems reduced to brown papery scales narrowly oblong or oblong-lanceolate rarely oblong 3-8(-10)mm wide. Median and upper cauline leaves normally developed, 3-4-ternate-pinnate-sectate or 2-3-pinnate-sectate, longitudinally shortly petiolate or sessile, ovate or triangular plates, rarely elliptic. Achenium pubescent, very convex at the back tip, rounded-truncate, lacking a transverse crest, wrinkled or reticulate on both sides, short persistent style 0.4–1 mm long, often strongly recurved achene appressed, rarely straight substraight or slightly recurved. Type: A. vernalis L.

Series 1. Amurenses

Lower stem leaves petiolate, 3-4-ternate-pinnate-sectioned, ovate or triangular, rarely elliptic leaves. Petals yellow or white, (7-8-) 10-22. Persistent style often strongly recurved and appressed to the achene, rarely erect or slightly recurved. Type: A. amurensis Regel et Radde.

Series 2. Coeruleae

Lower stem leaves petiolate, 3-4-pinnate-sectate, oblong or ovate-oblong plates. Petals white or blue, 8-9. Style persistently erect or more or less recurved, not appressed to the achene, or very short. Type: A. coerulea Maxim.

The species between A. brevistylam Franch. and A. coerulea Maxim, intermediate, differs from that with ovate-oblong or oblong 3-pinnate-sectioned leaf plates, fewer petals, and a much higher stem, white petals intact.

A perennial herb. Stem 16–40 cm high, often branched far above the base, glabrous, the base provided with 3-4 papyracea brownish or brownish-white narrowly ovate or lanceolate-wide scales 0.6-1.5 cm long. Stem leaves petiolate, glabrous; blades ovate-oblong or oblong, 2.5–12 cm long, 1.2-3.5 cm wide, 3-pinnate-segmented, pinnae 3-4-ridged sessile or subsessile, the last lobes ovate-triangular or narrowly lanceolate, pointed at the tip; petiole 1-6.8 cm long, flower 1.2-2.4 cm diam.; sepals 5. subrhomboid or lanceolate, 5-8.5 mm long, glabrous; petals white, 8-9, broadly oblanceolate or oblong-oblanceolate, 7-11mm long, 2.6-5mm wide, apex obtuse or rounded; stamens numerous, 3-5mm long, oblong anthers 1-1.5mm long. Fruit aggregate globose, 7-9mm diam.; achene obliquely obovoid, the tip strongly convex on the back, circ. 4.5 mm long, 3 mm wide, reticulate-wrinkled, densely pubescent, persistent styles ca. 0.6mm long slightly recurved.

Series 3. Apenninae

Stem leaves sessile or subsessile, 2-3-pinnate-sect, ovate plates. Petals yellow, rarely white, 9-15. Persistent style often strongly recurved and appressed to the achene, rarely slightly recurved. Type: A. turkestanica (Korsh. )Adolf

Series 4. Vernales

Stem leaves sessile, 3-palmate-pinnate-sect, ovate plates. Petals yellow, 12-18. Persistent style greatly recurved and appressed to the achene. Type: A. vernalis L

Subgen. 2. Adonis edit

An annual herb with paler roots. The leaves are all normally developed, 3-4-pinnate-sect, rarely 3-ternate-sect, the last lobes linear or narrowly linear. Petals 8 or fewer, red or yellow, base usually dark-spotted. Anthers dark-purple or dark-blue. Carpel dorso-ventrally compressed below anthesis, flattened, lanceolate, gradually tapering from the ovary upwards into the generally broad style, longitudinally 1-ribbed on the back, glabrous. Aggregate fruits are generally conical or conical-cylindrical, subtended by a receptacle. Type: A. annual L.

Sect. 1. Adonis edit

Achene lacking a ventral projection, lacking or having a transverse crest, short persistent style. Type: A. annual L.

Sect. 2. Rhynchocarpa edit

Achene lacking a ventral projection, provided with a transverse ridge, persistent style more or less elongated 0.8–3 mm long tip often recurved. Type: A. aleppica Boiss.

Sect. 3. Lophocarpa edit

Achene provided with a ventral projection and a transverse crest, a short persistent style 0.2-l(-2)mm long straight rarely recurved. Type: A. summer L.

Series 1. Aestivales

Achenium ventral projection arranged above the middle of the ventral suture provided by a persistently removed style. Type: A. summer L.

Series 2. Dentate

Achene projecting ventrally to the apex of the ventral suture provided with a persistent style contiguous. Type: A. dentata Del.

Molecular Phylogeny of Adonis
Dong Chan Son and Seyed Mehdi Taleb

Cultivation and uses edit

They are cultivated for use in gardens, and have been introduced to North America. Adonis spp. contain poisonous chemicals similar to those found in many other genera in the Ranunculaceae.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Kerényi, Kàroly (17 January 1980). The Gods of the Greeks. Thames Hudson. ISBN 0500270481.
  2. ^ Ovid Metamorphoses X 519-741
  3. ^ Wang, Wen-Tsai (1994). "REVISION OF ADONIS (RANUNCULACEAE)(I)". Bulletin of Botanical Research. 14: 1–31.
  4. ^ Wang, Wen-Tsai (1994). "Revision of Adonis (Ranunculaceae) (II)". Bulletin of Botanical Research. 14: 105–138.

External links edit