• Chris Jackson

St Patricks day - The Shamrock


Several similar-appearing plants each of whose leaves are divided into three are called Shamrock.

Plants that are called shamrock include:

· The wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) of the family Oxalidaceae

· Various plants of the pea family (Fabaceae)

· White Clover (Trifolium repens)

· Suckling Clover (T. dubium)

· Black Medic (Medicago lupulina)

Wood sorrel is still shipped from Ireland in great quantity all over the world for St. Patrick’s Day.

The original Irish shamrock (traditionally spelled seamróg, which means “summer plant”) is said by many to be none other than white clover (Trifolium repens), known as a common lawn weed originally native to Ireland.


It is a vigorous, rhizomatous, stem-rooting perennial with trifoliate leaves.

Occasionally, a fourth leaflet will appear, making a “four-leaf clover,” said to bring good luck to the person who discovers it.

Growing your own Shamrock

If you would like to have a go at growing your own shamrock. You can chose from a couple of options.

You let the widely recognised white clover invade your front lawn, or you can grow Oxalis tetraphylla 'Iron Cross', the lucky clover. This is the plant you will usually find in plant shops in March.

The Oxalis tetraphylla 'Iron Cross' is also known as Wood Sorrel.

This Oxalidaceae has got a maximum height of approximately 15 centimetres.

The Oxalis tetraphylla 'Iron Cross' is not an evergreen.

Prefers partial shade & sun

Flowers in the months of July, August, & September.


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