Dawn Ansell

'Dawn Ansell'
Double White English Primrose

"The small birds rejoice in the green leaves returning,
The murmuring streamlet winds clear thro' the vale;
The primroses blow in the dews of the morning,
And wild scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale."

-Robert Burns


Although the white double Primula polyantha 'Dawn Ansell' has a yellow eye, the fluffy petals pretty much hide the eye so that it looks like a perfect white pint-sized rose-blossom or double-gardenia, long-blooming from January to April, & shown above in late March.

The flower has a "ruff" or collar of small green leaves that gives the impression of it having been placed into a jewelry setting, a rare trait among certain primroses known as "Jack-in-the-Green" types.

'Dawn Ansell' & similar double primroses are much more vigorous than the types of modern singles sold early each year in front of grocery stores. While the mass-produced varieties have a tendency to die out of the garden over time, the doubles perennialize & spread with great ease.

This old-fashioned cottage garden variety wants moist, well-draining, humusy soil, in bright shade. Every two or three years they can be dug up & divided, or smaller plantlets can be removed from around the edges of a parent clump.

See also this heirloom blue double:
Primula vulgaris (acaulis) 'Quaker's Bonnet'


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