As an integral symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day, shamrock plants (Oxalis regnalli) are often on display this time of year.
One is even available for your inspection in the window at The Pocahontas Times office on Main Street in Marlinton.
Many stories are told about shamrocks.
One tale has it that St. Patrick, the saint who brought Christianity to Ireland, picked a shamrock leaf to explain the Holy Trinity to his congregation.
He said that its three leaflets, represented the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Shamrock plant is said to bring the arrival of spring, and it is considered to be a symbol of the “season of rebirth.”
Shamrock plants are, themselves, a literal example of rebirth.
They grow from bulbs. If left unattended, they will die back after they bloom, and can seem completely dead.
But don’t throw them out! Give them partial sunlight and a little water when you want them to grow again.
Oxalis regnelli, has bright green leaves and blooms with tiny, delicate white flowers.
Oxalis triangularis, or the “False Shamrock” plant, is also beautiful. It has dark purple leaves and pinkish lavender flowers.
If you want to see a pretty example of it, Rayetta’s Lunchbox on Second Avenue in Marlinton has one.
Both types are slightly poisonous if eaten in large quantities, so keep them well away from young children and pets. L. D. Bennett photo