Adonis L.

Sp.Pl. 2:547 (1753)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Family Ranunculaceae.

Subfamily Ranunculoideae, Tribe Adonideae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs. ‘Normal’ plants. Leaves well developed. Plants with roots; unarmed; autotrophic. Annual, or perennial. Leaves basal and cauline, or cauline. To 0.5 m high. Self supporting. Mesophytic. Not heterophyllous. Leaves alternate; with blades; petiolate; non-sheathing; compound; not peltate; unifoliolate, or ternate, or pinnate, or bipinnate, or multiply compound. Leaflets narrow linear. Leaf blades neither inverted nor twisted through 90 degrees; pinnately veined. Leaves without stipules.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Plants homostylous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’ (rarely). Inflorescence few-flowered. Flowers pedicellate; medium-sized; regular; not resupinate; heteromerous; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8–28; 2 -whorled; anisomerous. Calyx present; 5(–8); 1 -whorled; polysepalous; erect, or spreading; hairy, or glabrous. Corolla present; 3–20; 1 -whorled; polypetalous; red, or yellow, or white. Androecium present. Fertile stamens present. Androecial members indefinite in number. Androecium 100 (‘numerous’). Androecial members free of one another. Stamens 100 (‘numerous’); polystemonous. Anthers separate from one another; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present. Gynoecium 100 carpelled (‘numerous’). The pistil 100 celled (‘numerous’). Carpels increased in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 100 locular (‘numerous’). Gynoecium stylate. Styles free; simple; apical. Stigmas 1 - lobed. Ovules 1 per locule; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit 10–40 mm long; indehiscent; achene-like. Dispersal unit the seed. Fruit 50 seeded (‘numerous’). Seeds endospermic.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Adventive. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. South-West Botanical Province. A genus of ca 26 species; 1 species in Western Australia; A. microcarpa DC.; 0 endemic to Western Australia.

Etymology. From the Greek name for the god Adonis, said to have been changed into this plant after death.

B. Richardson, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Grieve, B. J.; Blackall, W. E. (1998). How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part II, Dicotyledons (Amaranthaceae to Lythraceae). University of W.A. Press. Nedlands, W.A.