Michael Vincent vincenma at MUOHIO.EDU
Mon Apr 9 10:12:49 CDT 2001

The shamrock is most commonly believed to be Trifolium dubium, though other
species have been proposed by various authors through the years, such as
Trifolium repens, T. pratense, Medicago lupulina, other Medicago spp., and
Oxalis spp.

See the following book for an interesting (and lengthy) summary of the legend:

Nelson, C.  1991.  Shamrock.  Botany and History of an Irish
Myth.  Boethius Press, Aberystwyth, Wales.  ISBN: 0 86314 200 1

Other interesting sources are:

Colgan, N.  1896.  The shamrock in literature: a critical chronology.  J.
Roy. Soc. Antiquaries Ireland  26: 211-226, 349-361.

Everett, T.H.  1971.  Soma facts and fallacies about the shamrock.  Gard.
J.  21: 24-26


Dr. Michael A. Vincent, Curator
W.S. Turrell Herbarium (MU)
Department of Botany
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056 USA

TEL:  513-529-2755
FAX:  513-529-4243
Email:  Vincenma at

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