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Facts about shamrocks

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Shamrocks are tiny plants that grow in groups. Shamrocks are especially prevalent in Ireland (although they also grow abundantly in other locations, such as North America) and are long-connected with the Emerald Isle due to Saint Patrick having used them as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost). Hence, shamrocks have become iconic of everything related to Ireland and their images can be found in pubs, on Irish ceramics and even on the symbol for the “Fighting Irish” basketball team.

In botanic terms, shamrocks can be part of one or two species, the “Trifolium dubium” or “Trifolium repens.” Traditionally, shamrocks were used for medicinal purposes but today they are mostly grown simply for fun and visual appeal. They are sturdy plants and can thrive outside in a garden or in a pot in a house.

Shamrocks are instantly recognizable to most people but the facts about them might be lesser known. Therefore, below is a list of five facts about shamrocks.

Clovers
Clovers Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Clovers

Shamrocks are actually a kind of clover. “Four leaf clovers” can sometimes be found growing within patches of shamrock. This is a somewhat rare occurrence though so finding such a thing is considered to be good luck.

Environment
Environment Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Environment

Shamrocks are a form of clover and these plants are very tough. They can survive frosty weather and warm weather and they are not bothered by rain. They are also important for the environment and ecosystem since many grazing animals (such as horses and cows) love to eat them.

Good Luck
Good Luck Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Good Luck

Shamrocks are often associated with good luck. More specifically, the rarer four-leaf-clover is associated with good fortune and this probably stems back to their association with Saint Patrick who is regaled as a hero of the Irish people.

Symbolism
Symbolism Don Arnold/Getty Images

Symbolism

Shamrocks have come to symbolize Ireland, the Irish people, and good luck. However, they also have newer meanings such as their appearance in the 4H Club logo and “Fighting Irish” sports team. Originally, the leaves on shamrocks were used as metaphors for the Christian Holy Trinity.

Lifespan
Lifespan Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Lifespan

Shamrock plants live a long time. They can easily thrive for years and never quite go completely out of bloom. However, if shamrocks/clovers are grown inside a house then they will need to be repotted once a year. They also should be fertilized every two weeks in order for them to reach their maximum growing potential.

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