Site hosted by Build your free website today!
The Shamrock

Shamrock bar gif

The Shamrock, at one time called the "Seamroy", symbolizes the cross and blessed trinity. Before the Christian era it was a sacred plant of the Druids of Ireland because its leaves formed a triad. The well known legend of the Shamrock connects it definitely to St. Patrick and his teaching. Preaching in the open air on the doctrine of the trinity, he is said to have illustrated the existence of the Three in One by plucking a shamrock from the grass growing at his feet and showing it to his congregation. The legend of the shamrock is also connected with that of the banishment of the serpent tribe from Ireland by a tradition that snakes are never seen on trefoil and that it is a remedy against the stings of snakes and scorpions. The trefoil in Arabia is called shamrakh and was sacred in Iran as an emblem of the Persian triads. The trefoil, as noted above, being a sacred plant among the Druids, and three being a mystical number in the Celtic religion as well as all others, it is probable that St. Patrick must have been aware of the significance
of his illustration.

Shamrock bar gif

What is the Original of the Irish Shamrock?

Do you know that there is no such thing as a "Shamrock Plant"? The Irish word "shamrock" translates to the English word "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 pagan 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.

These authorities agree that the White Clover,Trifolium repens  L. is the
"Original Irish Shamrock"

plant that produces our shamrocks has been identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Trifolium repens  L., White Clover...
"The Original Irish Shamrock"

Shamrock bar gif

Click on page name to visit:
Who is Saint Patrick?
St. Patrick's Day in America
The Shield of St. Patrick
Irish Blessings page 1
Irish Blessings page 2
Irish Blessings page 3
Irish song lyrics and midi music
 A Toast and some recipes I like
Just a Few Irish and Celtic Proverbs
Back to Front Page
Back to Holiday Page
Back to Ivy Links Page
Return Home