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All About Shamrocks

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  • Do you know that there is no such thing as a "Shamrock Plant"? The word shamrock comes from the Irish word "seamrog" meaning "little clover". However, there are hundreds of varieties of clover. The question is...what is the "Original Irish Shamrock"? Here is what some respected authorities have to say:

    • "White Clover, Trifolium repens forma minus, family Leguminosae, was the original shamrock of Ireland..." Academic American Encyclopedia, Vol. 17, 1990.

    • "In Ireland, the plant most often referred to as shamrock is the white clover." The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 17, 1993.

    • "Those most commonly called shamrocks are: the white clover, Trifolium repens, a creeping white-flowered perennial..." Collier's Encyclopedia, Vol. 20, 1992.

    • "The clovers also occupied a position in the cultural life of early peoples. White clover (T. repens L.) in particular was held in high esteem by the early Celts of Wales as a charm against evil spirits. According to Evans (1957), this pagen tradition was continued by early Christian leaders and became the symbol of the Holy Trinity for the Irish people." Clover Science and Technology, N.L. Taylor, 1985.

  • Saint Patrick used the plant to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Shamrocks have been considered by the Irish as good-luck symbols since earliest times, and this superstition has persisted in modern times among people of many nationalities. On March 17th, St Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world, with the "wearin' o' the green".

  • St. Patrick used the Shamrock leaf to illustrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity, when preaching Christianity to the Irish people.

  • The word shamrock comes from the Irish word seamróg or seamair óg, meaning "little clover".

  • The tradition of wearing Shamrock on Saint Patrick's Day can be traced back to the early 1700s.

  • The shamrock is the most recognizable emblem of Ireland.

  • For good luck, it's usually included in the bouquet of an Irish bride, and also in the boutonniere of the groom.

  • According to Irish folklore, finding a stem of clover with 4 leaves will bring you good luck, but finding a clover stem with more than 4 leaves will bring you bad luck.

  • Shamrock Planting and Care: Shamrocks are a pretty easy plant to grow, thriving in warm to cool air, fairly moist soil, and in a sunny spot (when they are flowering). Try not to place them in a south window and don't let them get too hot, never over 75 degrees.

    • Sow outdoors from March to September. Sow indoors all year round. When planted in early January you should have good-sized plants by Saint Patricks Day.

    • Because Shamrocks are bulbs, they are best planted close to the surface in a peat-based potting soil. A once per month feeding with a liquid plant fertilizer will do the trick.

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