Adonis pheasant’s eye

Pheasant’s eye (Adonis aestivalis) is the only species grown as a hardy annual. The prolific, cup-shaped flowers have deep crimson petals and near black stamens, and appear early to mid summer. They grow 30cm (12in) high, with fern-like foliage.

For best effect, plant in drifts at the front of a border with other annuals and biennials. It also grows well in containers.


For early flowers, sow outdoors in autumn. Thin seedlings to 15cm (6in) apart; then, the following spring, to 30cm (12in).

Alternatively, sow in trays under glass in spring and plant seedlings out 30cm (12in) apart; or sow seeds in spring directly where they are to flower, then thin – but flowering will be later.

Pests and diseases: Slugs can be troublesome.

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