Maybe a rose is a rose is a rose, but a shamrock is sometimes a clover - especially on St. Patrick's Day.
The original shamrock of Ireland is really white clover, Trifolium repens, and a member of the legume family. This is the kind that pops up in the yard, and draws children to their knees hunting for four leaves. Tradition says that the first three leaves represent faith, hope and love. It is the fourth leaf that represents luck.
Now the official Irish shamrock is Trifolium dubium. The yellow flowering plant is also a clover, and difficult to grow indoors. For this reason, florists and nurseries often sell true shamrocks, oxalis, around St. Patrick's Day. This group of plants include woodsorrels and are grown from bulbs.
The plants are perennials and, like the prayer plant, the leaves close up at night.
"They are fun to grow," said Molly Jacobus, owner of Molly's Flowers.