Herbs & Plants

Spring Pheasant’s Eye(Adonis vernalis )

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Botanical Name :Adonis   vernalis
Family: Ranunculaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Adonis
Species: A. vernalis

Other Names:Pheasant’s eye, Spring pheasant’s eye, Yellow pheasant’s eye and False hellebore.(Green false hellebore, sometimes also called simply “false hellebore,” is Veratrum viride, a member of the lily family.)Sweet Vernal

Habitat : C. and S. Europe .This flowering plant is found in dry meadows and steppes in Eurasia. Isolated populations are found from Spain in the west across central and southern Europe, reaching southern Sweden in the north, with its main area of distribution being the Pannonian Basin and the West Siberian Plain and  Sunny grassy hills on dry calcareous soils. A rare plant in most of its range, it has legal protection from gathering in most countries.

It is a herbaceous  Perennial plant growing to 0.3m by 0.3m.
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles. The plant is self-fertile.

The stem is branching, and the leaves many-cleft and sessile. The flowers are large, yellow, and attractive. USE: A toxic principle is present in very small quantities in the plant.


Sweet Vernal is a very beautiful flower. It blooms in early spring and has a rich, golden, buttercup-like glow. Its leaves are like filigree, and very delicate.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :-
Grows well in any ordinary garden soil that is not too heavy. Prefers a moist well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. Easily grown in a very well-drained rather dry soil in sun or part shade. Plants flower better when growing in a sunny position. This plant is adored by slugs and is therefore very difficult to grow in the open garden where slugs are common. A very ornamental plant, it is rather rare in the wild so only cultivated plants should be harvested. A greedy plant inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes.

Propagation :-
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or else it can be slow and erratic to germinate[200, 238]. Sow the seed in partial shade in rich soil in September or March. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for their first season. Plant out when dormant in the autumn. Division in early spring or in autumn. The divisions can be difficult to establish[200], so it is probably best to pot them up and keep them in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing away well.

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Cardiotonic; Diuretic; Sedative; Vasoconstrictor.

Pheasant’s eye has a long history of medicinal use and is still retained in the Pharmacopoeias of several European countries. The plant contains cardiac glycosides similar to those found in the foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). These substances improve the heart’s efficiency, increasing its output at the same time as slowing its rate. It also has a sedative action and so is generally prescribed for patients whose hearts are beating too fast or irregularly. The herb is not often prescribed, however, due to irregular absorption. The herb is cardiotonic, diuretic, sedative and vasoconstrictor. It has sometimes been used internally as a cardiotonic with success where the better known foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) has failed – especially where there is also kidney disease. The herb is also used in the treatment of low blood pressure and its strong diuretic action can be used to counter water retention. It is included in many proprietary medicines, especially since its effects are not cumulative. The plants are harvested every third year as they come into flower, they are dried for use in tinctures and liquid extracts. The herb does not store well so stocks should be replaced every year. Use with great caution, see the notes above on toxicity. The plant is used in homeopathy as a treatment for angina.

This is a very special plant because it is a potent heart medicine. The plant contains something called glycoside Adonidin, which is used in remedies for chronic heart problems and as a tranquilizer. It works almost exactly like digitalin, which comes from Foxgloves, but is stronger and doesn’t build up in the body. It is used especially in cases where people are also suffering from kidney disease, as well as heart problems. It does produce vomiting and diarrhea, however and is only used when digitalis fails.

You may click to see how Homeopathic mother tincher is made from Adonis vernalis :

Disclaimer:The information presented herein by us is intended for educational purposes only.Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous, containing cardiostimulant compounds, such as adonidin and aconitic acid. In addition, it is often used as a ornamental plant. A toxic principle is present in very small quantities in the plant. It is poorly absorbed so poisoning is unlikely.


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