Is there a difference between clover and shamrock?
Well.. yes and no!
Don’t we all associate shamrock with Ireland? I certainly do… I have been to Ireland recently and the place is full of shamrock, not the shamrock that grows, (I am sure that is around) but the shamrock I am referring to, as a logo, on all tourist stuff from socks, to mugs to tee-shirts!
Clover I think as being more British, however I am sure it grows all over. I immediately think of four leaves and good luck, and butter!
A shamrock is a young sprig of clover used as a symbol of Ireland. The name shamrock come from the word seamrog which is the diminutive of the Irish word for clover. Seamair, another Irish word meaning simply “little clover” or “young clover”. If you want to read more about shamrock and the botanical species, or the link with Saint Patrick and reasons for being used as the symbol of Ireland, just google and hit wikipedia to get some very interesting information. Look at the end of this post to read “little snippet from Snoo….”
The shape of the shamrock varies, for example most growing shamrock has three leaves and is often re-created this way, however there it is very often depicted as having four leaves, which indicates the “good luck” message, much the same as when reference is made to the “lucky four leaf clover”.
Oh the Shamrock, Through Erin’s isle,To sport a while
As love and valour wander’d, With wit, the sprite. Whose quiver bright
A thousand arrows squander’d, Where’er they pass, A triple grass
Shoots up, with dew-drops streaming, As softly green, As emeralds seen
Through purest crystal gleaming
Oh the Shamrock, the green immortal Shamrock
Chosen leaf, Of Bard and Chief, Old Erin’s Shamrock!, Says valour see,
They spring for me, Those leafy gems of morning, Says love no no
For me they grow, My fragrant path adorning, But wit perceives
The triple leave, And cries Oh do not server, A type that blends
Three godlike friends, Love, valour, wit for ever!
Oh the Shamrock the green immortal Shamrock
So firmly fond, May last the bond, They woven the morn together
And ne’er may fall, One drop of gall, On wits celestial feather
May love as twine, His flower devine, O thorny falsehood weed ’em
May valour ne’er, His standard rear, Against the cause of Freedom!
Oh the Shamrock, the green, immortal Shamrock
By Thomas Moore
There are about 300 different species of clover. It is generally found to flourish in the Northern Hemisphere however some species have been found in South America and Africa. Most sprigs have three leaves, however some times a four leaf sprig can be found which is considered lucky! The flowers range in colour, most common are white with a hint of pink, however totally pink flowers can be found too! Often clover is considered a super food for cows for their excellent production of creamy milk used for churning butter.
You probably associate four leaf clovers with St Patrick and Shamrocks, but the tradition started long before that! In the early days in Ireland, the Druids believed that they could see evil spirits coming when they carried a shamrock, or three leaf clover, giving them the chance to get away in time! They thought four leafed clovers offered protection and warded off bad luck.
The leaves of a four-leaf clover as a lucky charm stand for FAITH – HOPE – LOVE – LUCK
The Irish often say that the green hills of the Emerald Isle contain more four-leaf clovers than anywhere else. Hence the saying “Luck O’ the Irish”. Also the Irish believe while finding a four-leaf clover will bring you good luck, if you should find a five-leaf clover it is bad luck!
The odds of finding a four-leaf clover has been calculated at 10,000 to 1! So, good hunting, and I wish you all the luck in the world if you find one!
The shamrock/clover remains a strong symbol of Ireland, as the thistle is to Scotland, and the Rose to England… As depicted on this two shilling coin… notice, there is no symbol for Wales…
A little story for you, before I say good bye… At the Dublin Airport duty free shop I over heard a conversation which made me smile. A very, very English gentleman was buying a piece of jewellery for, I imagine his love, he asked the young girl at the counter for a particular necklace, referring to it in a loud “the one with the clover…” the girl at the counter saw me turn and look, and said “Oh to be sure, you mean the Shamrock” well, bless her, we were in Ireland!
Thanks for popping by, would love to hear if you have any clover or shamrock moments to tell me about!
My little snippet for you from Snoo “… The airline Aer Lingus uses the emblem (three leaf) in it’s logo, and it’s air traffic control call sign is “SHAMROCK”