Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Black medick

0671. Medicago lupulina = shamrock.
The plant that I grew from seed, sent home on a St Patrick’s Day card – sometime about 1915 – was Medicago lupulina, which I knew thereafter – though I never knew any other name till I was told it in England in 1923 – but before that I had learnt to distinguish it from Trifolium dubium, which I called ‘scraggy shamrock’ – my own invented name [Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, January 1991].

Images:  main, Clapham Junction, London Borough of Wandsworth, February 2014; inset, The Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands, September 2015.