Hello Adonis

Adonis amurensis (unusual cultivar)

I first encountered the Adonis at a meeting of the North American Rock Garden Society in Reston last year.  Asiatica Nursery was exhibiting plants for sale at the meeting and I saw these pretty little giant yellow buttercups for sale.  I know that little and giant don’t go together but they were big for buttercups.  At $20 a pop I decided there other things I needed more.  But after the meeting, as I began to read about these little gems, my gardener’s lust began to grow.  So I ended up ordering two and paying for shipping as well.  When they arrived they looked fine but the only buds fell off before they bloomed and then the plants kind of faded away.  So I thought that I had failed in some way, but I reserved the space to try again this year.  And I did place an order with Asiatica in January.  So I was a bit surprised and quite pleased when I saw the Adonis emerging this year.  I was even more pleased when the flower actually opened because it is definitely a distinctively different and very pretty double flower.

Adonis side view

The new arrivals for planting this year look nothing like this one.  They are much more like the enhanced buttercups that I was expecting.  After looking around the web and getting amazed at the variety in the Adonis that are grown in Europe and Japan, my current thesis is that this one must have been mislabeled when it was shipped to me last year from Asiatica.  It looks very much like the variety ‘Sandanzaki’ that they are selling this year.  The clincher would be if the center of the flower opens yellow as it continues to unfold.  In any case it’s a beauty and we will hope for vigorous expansion.

It’s a little surprising to me that the Adonis is so little used and rather hard to find.  There may be other mail order sources in the U.S. besides Asiatica but I don’t know of any.  If you want to see them in profusion this is the ideal time to visit Winterthur in Delaware where the Adonis are a lovely part of the March Bank.

Adonis on the March Bank in March 2009

There is an awful lot happening outside right now, but it is hard not to pay some attention to the Clivia that is bursting forth in the house.

Kaffir lily (Clivia miniata)

This is a very mature plant that badly needs to be divided (I say this every year).  It is putting out four such flowering stalks at the moment.

On the outside there is really too much to relate in a single post.  I will share some of the pictures of things that have caught my fancy but, all in all it’s a splendid time of year.  There are the new arrivals, courtesy of Christmas gifts from the kids.

Primula kisonana

This one is said to spread by underground stolons.  I say go for it…

Then there is the miracle plant.  The Oconee Bells (Shortia galicifolia) were lost from the botanic world for 88 years after they were originally discovered in 1788.  The tale of their rediscovery makes very interesting reading.  This is another spring ephemeral but with interesting foliage as well.

Oconee Bells (Shortia galicifolia)

The Bloodroot have been having a field day at the foot of the Pin oak.

A cluster of happy bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

So far, none of the multiflowered Bloodroot’s purchased from last year have poked their heads out of the ground.

The Daphne is fully in bloom.

Daphne (Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata) fully in bloom

It is hard not to walk past without stopping to smell those flowers.

And then let me close with the Star Magnolia.

Star Magnolia (Magolia stellata)

I submitted the opening bud phase as my contribution to the March GGW photo contest.  So it’s only fair that I display the resulting flower as well.  Also a lovely scent I might add.

4 comments on “Hello Adonis

  1. Les

    There is a lot going on right now, and it easy to miss some of the little pretty things underneath. The Magnolia is very nice.

  2. joco

    I would like to add a few “very,very’s” to Les’ comment.
    What treasures.

  3. joco

    John, no need to publish this comment.
    I did a post on Adonis vernalis and added a link to your post of today with the green center version of that plant. hope that is OK.

    1. jw

      Ah, but people should know that your post is well worth reading 🙂