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Astonished by the lovely row of plants on the window sill,  I reached for my camera.   The trifoliate leaves were three inches across!  Had I been mistaken all my life thinking shamrock was clover?    Of course I went to Google and — if you’re wondering too,  read more. shamrock1   shamrock1b   Ahh, Shamrocks are  indeed clover.   The lovely plants on the window sill  are Oxalis, wood sorrell — often given as a gift on St. Patrick’s day. The common wood sorrel is sometimes referred to as a shamrock and given as a gift on St. Patrick’s Day. This is due to its trifoliate clover-like leaf, and to early references to shamrock being eaten. Despite this, it is generally accepted that the plant described as shamrock is a species of clover, usually white clover (Trifolium repens). A shamrock is a young sprig of clover, used as a symbol of Ireland. Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, is said to have used it as a metaphor for the Christian Trinity.[1] The nameshamrock comes from Irish seamróg, which is the diminutive of the Irish word for clover (seamair) and means simply “little clover” or “young clover”.[2] Shamrock usually refers to either the species Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí)[3] or Trifolium repens (white clover, Irish: seamair bhán). However, other three-leaved plants—such as Medicago lupulina, Trifolium pratense, and Oxalis acetosella—are sometimes called shamrocks or clovers. The shamrock was traditionally used for its medicinal properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times. But that’s not the end of the story!  An article in USA Today 3/17/2015 reports on surveys on the question of which plant is the real shamrock.

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