Sunday, March 18, 2007
Hello Sunshine... Adonis Amurensis
Perhaps the most striking flower in our very early spring garden is that of Adonis amurensis; a small member of the buttercup family, native to Manchuria and Japan. It blooms in late February to early March here, often blooming when there is still snow on the ground. It is a popular potted plant in Japan, blooming at the Japanese New Year, and numerous named cultivars are available there, including some with reddish-orange petals that look quite startling. Only a handful of varieties seem to be commercially available in this country, with Asiatica offering three types, including one of the reddish varieties (listed at a price as startling as the flower: $90). Adonis amurensis kind of has two looks to it: I like it best when the flowers first peek up through the brown leaf litter, before the plant's foliage opens, as shown above. The flowers are almost green-gold when they first open, and very bright. I walked across the garden to see just from how far away I could still see the glowing little flowers... let's just say it was a lot further than I can throw a rock. The second phase for this plant is when its attractive, ferny foliage opens up, further showing off its yellow flowers. When hot weather hits, adonis quickly goes dormant until next spring.