St. Patrick's Day: A shamrock crisis?
And you thought the winter was tough here.
The Irish government is reporting that unusually severe winter weather on the Emerald Isle damaged the spring crop of shamrock, and bogus shamrock that only resemble the special clover are showing up on the market this week instead.
Like so many plants and animals, the shamrock suffers from "loss of habitat." Modern farming methods and receding grasslands where the clover grows have already meant a shortage of the national plant. Frosty weather this winter didn't help.
What you will probably see this week is something called "white clover" or Trifolium repens or Medicago lupulina or "black medi," which isn't even a clover.
What makes the shamrock so sacred to the Irish?
Photo credit: Associated Press
It is not because the plant is only found in Ireland. It can also be found in Britain and northwest Europe.
Instead, the shamrock was used by St. Patrick as an illustration when he taught the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish he was attempting to convert to Christianity.