Summer pheasant's eye (Adonis aestivalis ) is a small herbaceous perennial plant with large buttercup-like blossoms and soft, fern-like leaves. It is native to Europe and Asia, and was introduced to other areas of the world as a garden ornamental. A. aestivalis was introduced into North America initially as a horticultural plant, however it escaped cultivation and now grows in the wild in the western United States (California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Utah), Missouri, and New York. It grows abundantly in open forests and disturbed sites in the Western states. It also grows in hay fields, and on occasion can get mixed in with hay when baled.
All parts of A. aestivalis contains cardiac glycosides, which are cardiotoxic to poultry, resulting in fatal digestive and cardiac disturbances. Specific chemicals include adonitoxin, strophanthin, vernadigin, and cymarin. The leaves and flowers have the highest concentration of toxins.
- loss of appetite
- muscle tremors
- foul odor
- difficulty breathing
- blue-purplish comb
- sudden death
- NC State Extension Adonis spp. Poisonous Plant Research Database (2018)
- Woods, L. W.; Filigenzi, M. S.; Booth, M.C.; Rodger, L. D.; Arnold, J. S.; Puschner, B. Summer pheasant's eye (Adonis aestivalis) poisoning in three horses. Vet Pathol, 41(3), 215-220 (2004)
- Yeruham, I.; Shlosberg, A. Poisonous plants in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Vet Hum Toxicol, 46(1), 32-38 (2004)
- Vetter, J. Poisonous plants -- plant poisonings. Part 2 Gyogyszereszet, 43 145-163 (1999)