The shamrock is a three-leaved old white clover. It is known as a symbol of Ireland, with St. Patrick having used it as a metaphor for the Christian Trinity, according to legend. The name shamrock is derived from Irish seamróg, which is the diminutive version of the Irish word for clover (seamair).

It is sometimes of the variety Trifolium repens (white clover, Irish: seamair bhán) but today usually Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí). However, other three-leaved plants—such as Medicago lupulina, Trifolium pratense, and Oxalis—are sometimes mistakenly called shamrocks or clovers. The shamrock was traditionally used for its medicinal properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times.

Read more about Shamrock:  Symbol of Ireland

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Famous quotes containing the word shamrock:

    O Paddy dear, an’ did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?
    The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!
    No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his colour can’t be seen,
    For there’s a cruel law agin the wearin’ o’ the Green!
    —Unknown. The Wearing of the Green (l. 37–40)