Shamrocks and Ireland
A shamrock is a young sprig of clover. Over the centureies it has
become the symbol of Ireland and is associated with
Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint. The name shamrock comes from Irish seamróg
[ˈʃamˠɾˠoːɡ], which is the short form of the Irish word for clover
(seamair) and means "little clover" or "young clover".
Shamrock usually refers to either the species:
- Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí) or
- Trifolium repens (white clover, Irish: seamair bhán).
Three-leaved plants are also sometimes called shamrocks or
clovers, such as:.
- Medicago lupulina,
- Trifolium pratense, and
- Oxalis acetosell
The shamrock was traditionally used for its medicinal properties
and is said to have used by Saint Patrick and has become a closely
associated symbol of Ireland.
Patrick and the Shamrock.
- St. Patrick is said to used it illustrate the Christian
doctrine of the Holy Trinity when Christianising Ireland in the
- The first evidence of a link between St Patrick and the
shamrock appears in 1675 on the St Patrick's Coppers or Halpennies.
- And pictures of Saint Patrick depict him driving the snakes
out of Ireland with a cross in one hand and a sprig of shamrocks
in the other." .
- But the first written mention of the link does not appear
until 1681, in the account of Thomas Dineley, an English
traveller to Ireland. 
- A 1726 work by the
botanist Caleb Threlkeld. identifies the shamrock as
White Field Clover and comments rather
on the custom of wearing the shamrock on St. Patrick's Day.
As a symbol of Ireland
The shamrock has been used as
a symbol of Ireland since the 18th century. The
shamrock is used in the emblems of many state organisations, both in
the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
- Tourism Ireland
- Police Service of
- The Irish Postal Service An Post, often has the shamrock on its stamps.
- The airline Aer Lingus uses the emblem in its logos,
- The shamrock has been registered as a
trademark by the Government of Ireland.
Website (Naturegate) showing images of young leaves of lesser trefoil
Newbie's St. Patrick Coppers - Introduction".
Jack (1995). All
Around the Year: Holidays and Celebrations in American Life.
University of Illinois Press. p. 80.
Journal of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, 1 (1856), p183
"NS07 Threlkeld Shamrock | a whole new world".
in Ireland, IDA Ireland, Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland,
Business in Ireland". idaireland.com.
- Use of the harp and the shamrock were registered by the Irish government as
international trademarks. See
of the meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise
and Small Business, 26 March 2003". Archived from
the original on 17 November 2015.
Shamrock from Wikipedia