Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Lesser trefoil

0011. Young plants on sale as ‘shamrock’ at the pinkpansy flower-stall outside Embankment  underground station, City of Westminster, London, 17 March (St Patrick’s Day) 2015.

2.  16 March 2012: Potted young (nonflowering) plants on sale as ‘St Patrick’s Day shamrock’, £2.50, at a flower-stall outside Wimbledon station, south London. The plastic label stuck in each pot reads:
‘Shamrock/Trifolium Repens Dubium/
Authentic Shamrock/grown in Ireland.   May be kept after the holiday by potting up to the next size and growing on as an indoor specimen. Feed every 2 to 3 weeks with a standard houseplant fertiliser according to package directions.’
17 March 2012: Many people in Balham, Streatham and Tooting, south London, dressed up and on their way to St Patrick’s Day events, but none wearing living shamrock.

3. When I was young in my native Clare … Trifolium dubium was worn on St Patrick’s Day [Artane, Dublin, August 1993].

0014. Shamrock worn on St Patrick’s Day. In Blackpool, where there was a considerable Irish population, bunches of Trifolium dubium were sold [South Collingham, Nottinghamshire, January 1992].

Images: main, Ducklington, Oxfordshire, May 2016; lower inset, postcard depicting shamrock, posted Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, May 1906.