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Adenophora, Adiantum, Adlumia and Adonis, A-Z of plant genera part 8

Updated on October 28, 2015

Adenophora bulleyana

Taken at Capitol Hill Denver,Colorado,USA.
Taken at Capitol Hill Denver,Colorado,USA. | Source


In this series A-Z of plant genera we are looking at plants that grow in the wild and their cultivated relatives. The plants in this series occur all over the world. The four genera featured here are very different but equally fascinating species in their own right. We commence with the genus Adenophora a genus of the Campanulaceae family known collectively as the Bell flowers. Plants that are placed in this particular genus are often referred to as 'Lady Bells'. many are endemic to China,or Siberia,however they are also found in eastern Africa with a few species occurring in Europe.

They are perennial herbs,arising from , in general, thick fleshy roots, the stems are erect. There are often several, long-stalked basal leaves. The stem foliage is arranged alternately in most species. The flowers are borne singly or at times in cymes. The corolla of the flower is bell-shaped,which may be tubular or funnel shaped with five lobes. Most species produce blue flowers.

Flowers of Adenophora triphylla


Stem and leaves of Adenophora triphylla


Cultivated Adenophora.

The cultivated varieties of Adenophora are referred to as the Gland bell flowers. These are summer flowering plants with a fleshy perennial root stock. They are fully hardy. The plants require full sun and rich well drained but not overly dry soil. They may become somewhat invasive,however, they resent disturbance,.

Adenophora potaninii, is a rosette forming perennial up to eighteen inches tall with a spread of twenty four inches. The plant bears arching sprays of bell-shaped,pale bluish,lavender flowers in late summer. The foliage is oval to lance shaped and of a mid-green colour

Adenophora triphylla, is sometimes referred to as the Japanese Lady Bell, it is native to the Korean peninsular,Japan and China.This species produces erect stems to the height of up to forty inches,from a white and somewhat thick tap root,that is carrot-shaped.

The foliage is arranged alternately . They are oval,almost round with toothed margins. The flowers are known in botanical parlance as hermaphrodites ,meaning they have both male and female organs. each have five stamens and a pistil that projects from the flower. The flowers are pollinated by insects. The resulting seeds are of a yellowish brown colour.

In their native settings they are found in grassy areas in lowlands or mountains. The cultivated form grows well in warm,sunny situations although it will tolerate partial shade. The soil needs to be moist but not wet,and gardeners need to be aware that slugs may be a problem either damaging or even destroying the top growth, the plants need to be protected from them.

Adiantum capillus venurii


The genus Adiantum

The genus Adiantum is a large genus {over 200 species} of ferns in the Pteridaceae family that placed in the sub family Vittarioideae,of the order of plants known as Polypodiaceae. The genus name derives from Greek and translates as non-wetting,and alludes to the fronds that have the ability to shed water without becoming wet.

The cultivated varieties are a genus of deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen ferns,which range from frost hardy to frost tender depending on the variety chosen. They prefer semi-shade and moist neutral to acid soil,however, the variety Adiantum pedatum variety aleuticum prefers alkaline soil.. Remove any fading fronds regularly. They are propagated by spores in the summer.

The nest known and probably the most familiar species is the Maidenhead fern Adiantum capillus-veneris, a species native to the southern half of the United States, from California to the Atlantic coast,through Mexico and Central America, to South America. It is also a native to Eurasia. It is found in temperate climates where the moisture is high but not of a saturating nature.

The cultivated species of Maidenhead fern grows to the height of twelve inches with a similar spread and is regarded as half hardy.The foliage consists of dainty,triangular to oval,segmented,arching, light green fronds borne on black stems.{ see image above}

Adiantum pedatum. Northern Maidenhead fern


Adiantum pedatum variety 'aleuticum'


Adiantum pedatum and Adiantum pedatum variety 'aleuticum'

Adiantum pedatum is often referred to as the northern Maidenhead fern,and is native to the moist forests in eastern North America. The native plant {pictured above} grows to the height of thirty inches or more and is encountered in many habitats. It grows in soil and on rock faces and ledges wherever adequate moisture is present.

The cultivar is a semi-evergreen fern with a stout creeping root-stock. It has dainty finger-like mid-green fronds produced on glossy dark brown or blackish stems. They have a height and spread of around eighteen inches. The plants prefer shade and moist soil that is acid in nature. It is frost hardy down to minus five degrees C. {23 degrees F}.

Adiantum pedatum variety'aleuticum' is a semi-evergreen fern with a short root-stock. It has a dark brown or blackish stems and a dainty divided finger-like fronds, with blue green pinnae,that are more crowded than those of Adiantum pedatum. This species grows in alkaline soils. The height and spread is about eighteen inches. prefers partial shade,moist but not wet soil,and is frost hardy down to minus five degrees C .

'Adiantum raddianus {Delta maidenhead fern}


Adiantum raddianum {Delta maidenhead fern}

Adiantum raddianum, the Delta Maidenhead fern, is one of the most popular species of fern that is grown indoors.It is a delicate fern of tropical and sub-tropical South America. It grows on Rocks. The short rhizome produces erect arching fronds up to twenty inches high.

It has been introduced and become naturalized in various tropical and sub-tropical islands and regarded as an invasive species in Hawaii and French Polynesia. In its native form it is a fern with creeping and irregularly branched rhizome. The rhizome and the bases of the frond stalks are covered with dark brown tiny scales. The fronds are erect or arched over twenty inches long and triangular in outline. The frond stalks are a dark reddish brown to blackish and shining.

The segments are triangular to wedge -shaped and have slender red-black stalks. The segments of the sterile fronds,if present, are longer than the fertile fronds.

Adiantum tenerum


Adiantum tenerum

Adiantum tenerum, is referred to as the Brittle Maidenhead fern,it is low growing creeping fern. The segments are fan-shaped arching or pendent,about as broad as long. In its native state it grows on moist shaded limestone ledges and in crevices.

It is encountered in the USA,Mexico,parts of South America,Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas. The cultivars grows from one to three feet tall with a similar spread. The minimum temperature required for this species is thirteen degrees C {55 F}. They produce broadly lance shaped ,much divided ,spreading mid-green fronds. The variety 'Glory of Moordrecht',has more erect fronds and will withstand temperatures down to ten degrees C {50F}.

Adiantum venustum


Adiantum venustum

Adiantum venustum is the evergreen of Himalayan Maidenhair, native to China and the Himalayas. it is a slow growing species ,usually encountered in moist rocks and in soil with abundant humus and dead foliage.

The cultivar is a deciduous fern bearing delicate,pale green fronds tinged with brown when young. They consist of many small triangular pinnae on glossy stems. They grow about nine inches tall with a spread of about twelve inches. These plants like partial shade in a moist but not wet acidic soil. They are frost hardy down to minus 5 C {23F}.

There are many species in this genera all with similar characteristics and growing requirements.

Adlumia fungosa


The genus Adlumia

Adlumia, is a genus of but two species of the Papaveraceae family {Poppy}, they are then placed into the tribe Fumariieae in the sub family Fumarioideae. Indeed Adlumia fungosa is commonly referred to as the Alleghong vine,Climbing fumitory or mountain fringe. It is encountered in the eastern USA and eastern Canada. The genus is named after John Adium {1759-1863} who ran an experimental farm in Georgetown Washington DC.

In its native range it is a plant of wooded or rocky slopes. The flowers produced are about one inch long. they are of a pale pink to whitish colour,occurring from June until September. It has a scrambling nature.

The cultivar is an herbaceous biennial -,a leaf stalk climber from ten to twelve inches long. The delicate leaves have numerous leaflets. They carry tiny ,tubular,spurred,white or purplish flowers arranged in drooping panicles, in semi-shade.They are frost hardy. The other species in the genus is Adlumia asiatica,a native of Korea and neighbouring parts of China and southeast Russia.

Adonis vernalis variety


Illustration of Adonis vernalis [ Components }

From Kohler's Medizinal Pflanzen
From Kohler's Medizinal Pflanzen | Source

The genus Adonis.

The genus Adonis contains around thirty species many of which will be familiar to the gardener. They belong to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae,and are native to Europe and Asia. In the main they are low growing plants and many have feathery foliage much divided. One of the most familiar to the gardener is Adonis vernalis, also known by the common names of 'Pheasant's eye', 'Spring Pheasant's eye' and Yellow Pheasant's eye'.

This species is a perennial, and found in dry meadows and steppes in Eurasia. This plant is unusual among many European species of Adonis,as it flowers in the spring. The native species commonly grow in small clumps. The stem is about three inches high and they flower in May and June.

The cultivars are spring flowering perennials forming clumps,that in early spring produce buttercup-like greenish yellow blooms. They are borne singly at the top of the stems. The mid-green foliage is delicately dissected. The height and spread is about nine to twelve inches. They do best in partial shade in moist but not wet soil. They are completely frost hardy. They may be divided by division after the flowering period.

Adonis amarensis

W.hukujusou5031 | Source

Adonis brevistyla and Adonis amarensis

Another cultivar is Adonis brevistyla,which also forms clumps. The flowers of this species is white,tinged with blue outside. Again the foliage is finely cut and of a mid-green colour. The height and spread of this species variety is six to nine inches. Prefers partial shade in moist but well drained soil and ,again, is completely frost hardy.

Adonis amarensis,is another variety of Cultivar,that flowers in the winter and early spring. This variety produces golden blooms singly at the top of the stems with a height and spread of nine to twelve inches. Like all cultivars they prefer moist well drained soils. They are completely frost hardy.

Adonis aestivalis

Arad valley ,Israel.
Arad valley ,Israel. | Source

Adonis macrocarpa


Other Native Species

Adonis aestivalis,often referred to as the 'Summer Pheasant's eye', is a native to Eurasia,it has however, been introduced to other countries and occurs in the western and eastern parts of the USA.

It is primarily a species of calcareous soils and once very common in cornfields,but alas is now considered to be rare or even endangered in many countries.The flowers may be red,or, orangey-red with dark centres,they are about one inch across. They may be procured in packets of wild flower seeds.

Adonis annua,is also referred to by the names of 'Autumn Adonis', Autumn Pheasant's eye' or 'Blood-drops', among others. It is a perennial native to North Africa and western Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe.It has been introduced to other countries such as the USA and the UK. It grows to the height of ten inches and produces flowers that are often scarlet have a dark basal spot on the petals that form a dark centre, they are borne singly at the top of the stems.They are very reminiscent of Anemone flowers.

The leaves are finely divided with bright green parallel sided segments. It has long been naturalized in the UK and although it is wide spread it has never been common. These days the majority of the remaining sites are in the south of England,it is restricted to Hampshire and Wiltshire. It is an arable species typically found in the margins of fields,sown for winter cereal. They flower from Mid June to Mid July. They are an endangered species in the UK and are a priority species of conservation concern..

Adonis microcarpa,is a species native to western Asia and southern Europe.It has been introduced to other countries such as the USA and Australia.

Adonis pyrenaica, is a native to the Pyrenees in south-western Europe.It is another species that has been cultivated as an ornamental plant.

The remaining species to numerous to detail have a very similar characteristics and habits of those already mentioned. It is well to remember that although some species have been used medicinally all the members of the the Buttercup family are poisonous if ingested.

Adonis pyrenaica

Botanical garden Peukjavik ,Iceland.
Botanical garden Peukjavik ,Iceland. | Source


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    Post Comment

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Lancashire north west England


      Hi Deb, nature has a way of attracting us to her beauty whether it is our feathered friends or our beautiful flora. Thank you . Best wishes to you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Those ferns and poppies are just out of this world. In Maine, we had a few bell shaped flowers, and I loved their intricate beauty.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Lancashire north west England


      hello Devika, Glad you enjoyed and thank you for your kind and encouraging comments. Best wishes to you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautiful flowers. Informative and unique species to me. You have a great mind in writing interesting hubs.


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