Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
One of the very first perennials to bloom at the start of the growing season is the cheerful, yellow-flowered Adonis amurensis. It usually flowers right after the winter snows have gone—in fact, it will even pop up through a late-February snow—and always brings a smile to the face of anyone who sees it.
Commonly known as pheasant’s-eye or adonis, it is a member of the anemone family (Ranunculaceae) which, according to Greek mythology, was created by Aphrodite when she sprinkled nectar on some blood of the recently-gored Adonis.
There are several species of adonis and this one is native to Far East Asia. The specific epithet amurensis commemorates the Amur, a major river in that region. Here at Wave Hill, look for it along the Shade Border, where these bright little beauties were found, and in the Wild Garden.