Blog

News and Stories from the National Botanic Gardens

This is the News Blog of the National Botanic Gardens. We also run an Irish Botany News Blog and a Research Projects Blog on our Science pages. 

Events Programme Now Available!

We are delighted to announce that the programme of events until next February is now available to download. Click here to access your digital copy. From exhibitions to themed tours, guided walks to children's workshops, there is something for everyone going on at the...

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Science Week 2017

  The National Botanic Gardens have a programme of events for National Science Week. One of Ireland's moored weather buoys will be with us all week. Standing 4m tall and weighing 3.5 tonnes (right) these buoys are vital sentinels to offshore weather conditions...

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Totally Terrific Tomato Festival 2017

  For this week the National Botanic Gardens is hosting the largest collection of Tomato cultivars ever assembled in Ireland. The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival takes place at Killruddery House and Gardens each year in September. This year 203 cultivars went on...

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A Rare Find: Green-Flowered Helleborine

The National Botanic Gardens are pleased to announce a significant find in Ireland's botanical world. The green flowered helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes) is a rare Irish orchid confined to little more than a dozen sites on the island. Its rarity and variability...

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Sheep-Eating plant blooming at the gardens NOW!

We are delighted to announce the blooming of one of the most handsome plants in our collection. Puya berteroniana (aka. the Sheep-eating plant) has begun flowering in the Curvilinear House and will last through to the first week of June. But it is unfurling fast as...

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Visit to the Gardens by HRH The Prince of Wales

On Friday morning we were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to the National Botanic Gardens. As Patron of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), the Prince of Wales has a special interest in the work of Botanic Gardens around the...

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Ecological Genetics Group: 61st Annual Meeting

The 61st Meeting of the Ecological Genetics Group (EGG) will be held at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland between the 4th and 6th of April, 2017. This will be the first time that EGG has been held outside the UK, and we look forward to welcoming them to Dublin....

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Westonbirt Orchid Medal

Glasshouse Foreman Brendan Sayers, has been awarded the RHS, Westonbirt Orchid Medal for 2017. The Medal is awarded annually to an individual for any scientific, literary, or other outstanding achievement in connection with orchids. Brendan has dedicated a lifetime to...

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Sonder Ireland Palmhouse Video

  Sonder Ireland have made a small video celebration of the Palmhouse. It is only from the air that the full beauty of the Palmhouse is seen. We hope to persuade them to make more films of the Gardens to give us all a different perspective on the more well known...

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Baobab in Bloom

The Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) is one of Africa's most enigmatic trees. In the wild it can look like an 'upside down tree' as the short spreading branches look like roots sticking in the air. One African legend has it that that god took a dislike to the Baobab...

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Sackville Street Art Project

Of the 485 people who died during the Easter Rising, 262 were civilians. The Sackville Street Art Project has brought together people to build model houses to represent each of these civilians killed during that momentous week. Each model commemorates the lives of one...

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Latest Calendar of Events

We have a program of over 80 events planned for the next six months including exhibitions, talks, workshops and guided walks. Feasting from Nature’s Plate, 2016A special theme this year will be Feasting from Nature’s Plate, a celebration of edible plants in all their...

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Images of Starlight

An exhibition of Astronomical Images captured by amateur astronomers from all over Ireland will run from Tuesday 2nd - Sunday 21st February This is the first major photographic exhibition by Irish astronomers. The night sky has always fascinated people. Recent...

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Decorated Pumpkin Competition

This is the 7th year for the Pumpkin Competition. Bring your decorated pumpkin to the National Botanic Gardens, on Saturday 17th October 2015 between 10am and 5pm. Pumpkins should only be decorated on the external skin, we will not accept pumpkins which are cut into...

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Tolka Nights

Tolka Nights (tolkanights.com) is a series of public events happening in September in three distinct sites along the river Tolka. The final evening - at the National Botanic Gardens - will be a symposium of presentations about the Tolka, flooding, and work by other...

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Sculpture in Context 2015

The National Botanic Gardens is delighted to host the annual Sculpture In Context exhibition, now in its fourteenth year at the gardens from Thursday 3rd September to Friday 16th of October 2015. Sculpture In Context is the largest outdoor Sculpture exhibition held in...

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Physics in the Gardens

To mark Science week (9-16 Nov) we are once again welcoming back the Institute of Physics and the Irish Science on Stage team. Demonstrations of Archimedes Law shown through tug of war, Bernoulli's Law with giant windbags, Faraday's Law of Induction shown with a...

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Exhibition – Exploring the Microcosm

A remarkable exhibition of micrographs A Visual Odyssey Into Invisible Worlds by Karl Gaff explores the richness, complexity and sheer beauty of places far beyond the limits of human vision. Explore treacherous mountain ranges on a single grain of pollen, probe the...

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Exhibition: Kilmacurragh – Through the artist’s eye

An exhibition showing the work of six leading artists who have been inspired by the gardens and plant collections of Kilmacurragh will be on show at the Visitor Centre for the next 3 weeks. The exhibition commemorates the outbreak of the Great War, which had such a...

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Ceramics Ireland Members’ Exhibition 2014 and Sylva

We have a joint exhibition for the next month, with Ceramics Ireland's annual members' exhibition and the Sylva exhibition. Sylva features drawings by Sarah Simblet specially produced for the New Sylva, written by Gabriel Hemery. This beautiful volume celebrates John...

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Speaking with Plants and Sylva

Dr. Niamh Shaw, a performer, scientist and engineer, is passionate about awakening people’s curiosity. She has collaborated with Prof Bruce Osborne of UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science to present 'Speaking with Plants' at the Gardens at 14:30 on Saturday...

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Aibítir – a celebration of Irish Botanical Art

Aibítir Éireannach i Ealaíon Luibheolaíoch The Irish Alphabet in Botanical Art May 2-25, 2014, open everyday, free entry The Irish Society of Botanical Artists will present their inaugural exhibition at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin in May 2014. The...

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Win a Lego hamper by collecting Deadly Plants

The National Botanic Gardens has teamed up with TRTE's elev8 and the RTÉ Guide for an online sticker album about plants called elev8’s Deadly Plants. It’s a great way to introduce 7-11 year olds to plant life. Behind each sticker you will find fun facts on our most...

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‘Gro’ comes to the Gardens

The National Botanic Gardens is marking the millennial anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf on Good Friday 1014 by displaying the replica Viking ship Gro for the next 3 weeks. In 2005 the Irish National Heritage Park at Ferrycarrig in County Wexford had a Viking ship...

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RTÉ’s Tracks and Trails

The National Botanic Gardens features on RTÉ's popular Tracks and Trails this Friday night (28th February) at 7.30pm. Broadcaster Jim Sherwin chooses a walk starting at the Bull Wall in Clontarf in his native Dublin, where he travels along the coastal road before...

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Gairdíní na Lus – Television series on TG4

  The final episode of Gairdíní na Lus is being broadcast on Tuesday 11 Feb at 8 pm on TG4, repeated Sunday at 9 pm. The previous episodes can be viewed on the TG4 player. Made by Midas productions, with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the series...

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Twelve new species of Pitcher Plants from the Philippines

  One of the roles of the National Botanic Gardens is taxonomic research into the Irish and world flora. Over the past year the Director, Matthew Jebb, has published (along with a colleague at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew - Martin Cheek) twelve new species of the...

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Graphic Art Studio Dublin present

  Graphic Studio Dublin have commissioned a fabulous collection of 100 new fine art prints by 100 artists. Each print is inspired by different aspects of the National Botanic Gardens Dublin and at Kilmacurragh. This ambitious project is a fundraising initiative to...

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Decorated Pumpkin Competition

This is the 5th year for the Pumpkin Competition. Bring your decorated pumpkin to the National Botanic Gardens, on 19th October 2013 between 10am and 5pm. Pumpkins should only be decorated on the external skin, we will not accept pumpkins which are cut into or carved,...

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Secrets of the Irish Landscape

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzPRjy_bAwU   Matthew Jebb and Colin Kelleher of the National Botanic Gardens assisted in the making of ‘Secrets of the Irish Landscape’, a major three part series on RTÉ television, presented by Derek Mooney, which tells the history on...

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James Joyce in tulips

Paul Schellekens, Ambassador of the Netherlands, planted the first bulbs together with local school children from Scoil Mobhi primary school, Glasnevin, Dublin and St Michael’s National School in Limerick. Mark Traynor, Director of the James Joyce Centre and the...

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Inauguration of ?What is Life?

Minister Brian Hayes was at the National Botanic Gardens for the presentation to the Irish people of a sculpture - ?What is Life? - which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double helix by James D. Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. The...

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The Trees of Great Britain and Ireland

  The Trees of Great Britain and Ireland by Henry John Elwes and Augustine Henry On the 6th March, during Tree Week 2013, the facsimile of the book was formally launched by Sir Henry Elwes, great-grandson of Henry John...

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The DNA double Helix is 60 today

  On the 28th February 1953, Jim Watson and Francis Crick made what was arguably the greatest scientific discovery of the 20th Century. They had an insight into the 3-dimensional structure of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid). At lunch that day they told the pub-landlord...

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Sheep Eating Plant in bloom

Our 'Sheep-eating Plant' is in bloom. This Chilean plant is a relative of the pineapple. It grows in arid hillsides of the western Andes at altitudes of up to 1,200m. After 14 years of growth One plant is now blooming in the Curvilinear range. The electric-yellow...

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Welcoming the bees back to the Botanic gardens

  Saturday 14th April - Sunday 15th April Meet the beekeepers at this special weekend event in celebration of the welcome return of bees to the Botanic Gardens. As well as informative talks on the history of beekeeping, there will be an exhibition of live bees in an...

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Be Plant Wise Campaign Launches

  The Be Plant Wise campaign is supported by the National Botanic Gardens, and was launched on Thursday the 8th March, 2012 by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The campaign highlights the actions gardeners can take to prevent aquatic...

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Name a new Tulip, and win a trip for two to Amsterdam

  Name a Tulip and win a trip for two to Amsterdam. The Get Ready For Spring Tulip Naming Competition The Dutch Embassy is running a competition to name a new cultivar of tulip specially bred by Jan Ligthart in honour of Ireland (right). The winner will have the...

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Irish Plant Scientist’s Association Meeting 2012

  We are pleased to announce that the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin and the Office of Public Works will be hosting the Irish Plant Scientists' Association Meeting (IPSAM) 2012. The conference will run from 2pm on Tuesday 3rd until after lunch on Thursday the 5th...

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Launch of The Praeger Centre

  The Praeger Centre was launched at the National Botanic Gardens on Saturday morning during a visit by the Dublin Naturalists Field Club (DNFC), along with representatives of the Belfast Naturalists Field Club (BNFC). The...

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H.H.Bloomer Award for Brendan Sayers

The H. H. Bloomer Award is given by the Linnean Society of London each year. It was established in 1963 from a legacy by the amateur naturalist Harry Howard Bloomer, and is awarded to an amateur naturalist who has made an important contribution to biological...

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Queen Elizabeth visits Ireland

On the 18th May, HRH Queen Elizabeth was presented with a bouquet of flowers at Trinity College these comprised plants selected from the collections of the National Botanic Gardens, including Achillea 'Moonshine', Geranium 'Johnson's Blue' and Iris 'Langport Lord', as...

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Schefflera poomae – a new species from Thailand

The Gardens continue to be involved in the forefront of understanding global and national plant biodiversity. Each year about 2000 new species of plant are discovered and named. Last year, Matthew Jebb, along with his colleague Hajo Esser from Munich, described the...

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Abutilon pitcairnense – back from the brink

Noeleen Smyth published an article on Abutilon pitcairnense in Curtis’ Botanical Magazine, which included a portrait painted by botanical artist, Susan Sex (right). This species is teetering on the brink of extinction, but alive and well under the care of our...

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New Director of the National Botanic Gardens

  Matthew Jebb has taken over the directorship of the National Botanic Gardens following the departure of Peter Wyse Jackson. Matthew has been Keeper of the Herbarium and Taxonomist (Ainmneoir Plandai) at the Gardens since 1998. Matthew gained his primary degree in...

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Botanic Gardens wins gold for Darwin at Home at Bloom 2009

2009 marks a double anniversary for Charles Darwin. Born 200 years ago, on the 12 February 1809 in Shrewsbury, England, his most famous book, The Origin of Species, was published 150 years ago on the 24 November 1859. To mark the occasion we constructed a part of Down...

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Ireland’s Wild Orchids – a field guide

  Brendan Sayers (Foreman at the National Botanic Gardens) and the award-winning botanical artist Susan Sex, have recently completed their latest Irish Orchid book, a field guide to Ireland's Wild Orchids (cover at right). This richly illustrated book gives detailed...

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Wollemi Pine cones at Glasnevin

One of the world's oldest and rarest trees, the Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis) has begun to produce male cones at the Gardens (right). Only discovered in 1994 in Australia this extraordinary tree has a fossil record stretching back 90 million years. A member of the...

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Mauge’s shelled slug

This burrowing slug, which grows up to 4 inches in length (6-12 cm) was discovered in the National Botanic Gardens Car Park in Septmeber 2008 by Slug expert Gery Holyoak. It was last seen in Ireland in 1931, and before that in 1892. They are rarely seen because they...

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Birds of Ireland: Facts, Folklore & History

Glynn Anderson, Guide & Information Officer at the National Botanic Gardens, has just published this book with The Collins Press. Lavishly illustrated and beautifully designed, the book is truly chomh breabhsánta le glasóg being packed with delightful vignettes of...

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Jade Vine flowers for the first time at Glasnevin

The Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) is a native of the tropical forests of the Philippines. Its flowers are a luminous turquoise in color, and hang in bunches up to a metre in length. Each clawlike flower is about 8 cm long (right). In its native Philippines it...

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National Botanic Gardens Medal

The National Botanic Gardens established a gold medal in 2007. The medal will be awarded, on an irregular basis, to those members of the Irish botanical community who have made a significant contribution to Irish Botany. Maura Scannell reminds everyone of the...

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Royal Botanic Gardens of Jordan

A team from the National Botanic Gardens has recently returned from an 11 day trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens of Jordan. The purpose of the visit was to give assistance with planning at the gardens, and developing a long-term research strategy for vegetation...

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Grace Pasley R.I.P. (1956-2007)

Grace Pasley has been the herbarium assistant and official photographer at the National Botanic Gardens for over 30 years. Grace was wonderful in many ways and well deserved her 'Amazing Grace' nickname. Her generosity and joie de vivre was known to many at the...

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National Botanic Gardens Medal

  The National Botanic Gardens has been in existence for 212 year, and for the first time in its history it has established a gold medal (right). The medal will be awarded, on an irregular basis, to those members of the Irish botanical community who have made a...

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Gardens wins Gold at Bloom

The Gardens' stand at the Bloom festival won a gold medal on Friday. The stand, entitled Cherishing Biodiversity, featured a wide array of endangered plants from home and abroad. The National Botanic Gardens plays a key role in biodiversity conservation in Ireland and...

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Giant Blooms in the Palm House

Pachira aquatica - the Provision Tree Pachira aquatica, the South American Provision Tree - each of the five petals is about 35 cm long This tree has proved to be one of our fastest Palm House plants, adding almost 4 metres to its height in the past 12 months. A...

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300th Birthday of Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus, the man who named the human race – Homo sapiens – was born three hundred years ago on the 23rd May 1707. Strangely his family name derives from a Lime tree (Linden) growing on his father’s land – quite literally the name means Lime-man. At the time the...

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Joseph (Jody) Murray R.I.P. (1944-2006)

Friends and colleagues have been saddened by the sudden death of Jody Murray, Nursery Foreman, and gardener at the National Botanic Gardens since 20th May 1968. Jody had an encyclopaedic knowledge of virtually every plant he saw, he was a true gentleman and...

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Learning from Nature: Pest control in the glasshouses

The pitcher plants of south-east Asia (Nepenthes) are insect-eaters. They have modified leaves that trap insects by having slippery walls and an overhanging lip (see right). Insects are attracted to the pitcher by its bright colours and the nectar glands that cover...

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Halloween at Glasnevin

A busy programme of Halloween event was recently completed at the National Botanic Gardens. Highlights included a large display of pumpkins and seasonal produce created by the staff by the main entrance to the Gardens. Featured prominently in the Irish Times magazine,...

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Botanic Gardens Expedition to Siberia

This week a four-person team from the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin returned to Dublin following the successful completion of a 17-day botanical expedition to Siberia. The expedition spent a week in the Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk regions of Siberia, travelling...

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30 nest boxes added to the gardens

For many garden birds the ability to survive and increase in numbers is not limited by food supply but by a lack of suitable nest sites. This is especially true when the old, dying and rotten trees, which contain most nest holes, are cut down and removed. Many of...

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Moringa – Africa’s Miracle tree

Diarmuid Gavin launches Refugee Trust International's 'Miracle Tree' appeal     Tuesday February 20th 2006 Irish gardener and television personality Diarmuid Gavin (who originally studied at the College of Amenity Horticulture at the Gardens) helped to launch Refugee...

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DARWIN DAY 12th February 2006

Charles Darwin and the theory of Natural Selection The notion of evolution via genetic variation and natural selection, proposed by Charles Darwin, has become the central organizing principle in biology. Since the 1990s his birthday has been celebrated by public...

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Global Partnership for Plant Conservation

Report on the Conference of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC) held at the National Botanic Gardens 22-25th October 2005 The National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin hosted the 1st international conference of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation...

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