DETROIT (WWJ) – A local flower shop is clearing up a misconception many people may have about Ireland’s national flower: A four leaf clover is not a shamrock.
Wesley Berry Flowers in Commerce Township says the term “shamrock” derives from the Irish word, seamrog, which translates to “little clover.”
The shamrock is a three leaf clover that is believed to bring good luck, while four leaf clovers are rarer and commonly mistaken for a shamrock.
Shamrocks were believed to possess magical properties with its three leaves, as three is a sacred number in numerology. In ancient times they were used by druids to ward off evil spirits. Druids saw the three leaf shamrock as representing body, mind, and spirit. Over time, the shamrock grew to become a symbol of Irish pride.
The shamrock was used, according to legend by St. Patrick, to represent the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
St. Patrick was a missionary sent to convert the Irish to Christianity. After his death, St. Patrick was never officially declared a Saint by the Vatican.