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The Courtyard

Another interesting feature of the collection is the memorial garden located in the Museum courtyard dedicated to botanist and explorer, Thomas Coulter.  Born in Dundalk on 28 September 1793 to a family of Presbyterian gentleman farmers, Thomas was fascinated by the natural world and as a boy collected insects and plant locally.  He enjoyed fishing and shooting and was a skilled beekeeper.  Whilst he discovered a great many cacti it is the Romneya coulteri (matilija) that is his greatest legacy.  It was introduced into cultivation in Europe in about 1875 and flowered for the first time in the Glasnevin Botanic Gardens, Dublin in 1876.  It is now well established in Irish gardens. It has beautiful flowers of transparent white and yellow, which bloom from July to September. It is a hardy plant, which can grow up to six feet tall.