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NS07 Threlkeld Shamrock

NS07 Threlkeld Shamrock

Caleb Threlkeld’s treatise on native Irish plants, published in 1726, refers to our national symbol the Shamrock under its botanical name Trifolium Pratense, (White flowered meadow trefoil). There has been much debate about the exact origin of the Shamrock, many people considering it a form of clover.

Threlkeld notes its identification by Gerard in his Herbal of 1597. He gives its Irish name Seamar-oge, and refers to people wearing it in their hats on 17 March, St Patrick’s Day. As a clergyman, Rev. Dr. Threlkeld shows his disapproval of the way the people celebrated the day by “wetting the Shamrock”.

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