Types of Shamrock Plants

One of the most popular symbols in Irish culture is the Shamrock. This plant has been a symbol of Ireland for hundreds of years, and it’s still used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today. If you’re looking for a way to decorate your home with shamrocks during or after this holiday season, consider getting some real live ones. There are several different types of shamrock plants with unique characteristics and uses that will bring a touch of green into your home all year round:

Common Shamrock (Oxalis Acetosella)

Common Shamrock is a low-growing annual with small, round leaves deeply divided into three leaflets. The plant grows from 15 to 20 cm tall, and it’s usually found in moist areas such as ditches and marshes. It’s native to Europe, Asia, and North America but can also be found in other parts of the world where it has been introduced.

It has a long history of being used as an emblem of Ireland; some believe it was used by St Patrick himself during his missionary work on the island nation centuries ago. There is some debate over whether or not he brought this particular type of plant back from his travels abroad–some think he may have been referring instead to marsh marigold (Caltha palustris).

Regardless of its origins, though, the common Shamrock remains popular today thanks largely due its attractive foliage coloration: bright green leaves contrasted against white “spots” caused by flowers opening up before their time due to heat stress caused by high temperatures combined with a lack adequate sunlight levels needed for proper growth.

Variegated Shamrock

The variegated Shamrock is a perennial plant with green and white leaves that thrive in zones 5 through 8. It grows about 1 foot tall and wide, making it an ideal choice for gardens or containers. The flowers are small but bloom from late spring to early summer and can be used as cut flowers or dried for crafts.

These shamrocks require full sun to partial shade and moist soil with good drainage; however, they do not like wet feet, so you’ll want to make sure your pot has drainage holes at the bottom if you’re growing yours in one.

Oxalis Albicans, Hairy Woodsorrel

Oxalis albicans, also known as hairy woodsorrel, is a perennial plant that grows in the wild in many parts of the world. It’s been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for headaches, heartburn, and fever. The leaves and flowers are edible but not recommended for human consumption because they contain oxalic acid, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.

It has long been used as part of traditional medicine practices by people living in South America and Africa (as well as other places worldwide).

Clustered Shamrock

Clustered Shamrock is a perennial plant, which means it will grow year after year. It is also known as Irish Shamrock and is part of the Oxalis family. This herbaceous plant can be found throughout Europe, North Africa, and Asia. The clustered variety has bright green leaves that grow in circular clusters with white flowers that bloom from spring to fall.

Oxalis Regnellii, Lucky Shamock

Oxalis regnellii, or the lucky shamrock plant, is a perennial plant that ranges from 6 to 12 inches tall. It grows in USDA zones 7-10 and flowers from May to June. The leaves are ovate with serrated edges and range from green to red, depending on the season.

Narrow Leaf Shamrock

Narrow Leaf Shamrock is a clover-like plant that grows in the wild in North America. It has white flowers and green leaves, but it’s not edible. Narrow Leaf Shamrock is sometimes called “Sea Clover” because it looks similar to true clover plants that grow on land, like Trifolium repens (white blossom) or Trifolium dubium (yellow blossom).

It is also known as Lysimachia lanceolata, which means “with lanceolate leaves.” This refers to its long, narrow leaves that are shaped like arrows or spears–they’re very thin at one end and wider at the other than they are high up near where they attach themselves to their stems.

Oxalis Stricta, North American Woodsorrel

The North American Woodsorrel, Oxalis stricta, is native to the eastern half of the United States. It blooms from May to July and can grow up to 6 inches tall. The leaves are heart-shaped and can grow up to 6 inches wide. This plant is often mistaken as Shamrock because of its three leaves and clover-like appearance, but it has no relation whatsoever with true Shamrocks (Trifolium).

Paddy’s Wig

Paddy’s Wig is a perennial plant and an herbaceous member of the Oxalidaceae family. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa but was introduced to North America in the late 1800s. This Shamrock plant grows up to 3 feet tall with leaves divided into three leaflets (pinnately compound). The flowers are white or pale pink with five petals each–like most other shamrocks flowers–, but they grow on long stems rather than short ones like clover do.

This has many uses: it can be used as an ornamental groundcover in warm climates; its leaves can be used as salad greens; and its fruit pods are edible when cooked like spinach.


With so many varieties of shamrock plants, you can find something that fits your needs. Shamrock plants are relatively easy to care for but retain their exotic charm. Whether you want something small and understated for your windowsill or a larger specimen to fill your outdoor space, you should have no trouble finding an appropriate variety.