The shamrock, also known as clover, is the national flower of Ireland. In fact, in Irish the word "shamrock" means "little clover" or "young clover." Shamrocks grow wild in many parts of the world, including Europe and North America, and they are often sold at potted plants.
Shamrocks are called trifoliate because each stem has three leaflets. Sometimes, though - about once in every 5 to 10 thousand stems - a genetic variation allows the plant to produce four leaflets. This so-called "four leaf clover" is sought after as a good luck charm. It is not clear where this tradition originated, but an early mention in the 1600s refers to medicinal use. In the 1800s, one description links the plant to sorcery.
The four leaf clover is also the emblem of the 4-H youth club in the United States. The four leaves are said to symbolize the use of the "head, heart, hands, and health" to help others.
According to an Irish legend, upon bringing the Christian religion to Ireland, Saint Patrick selected this plant to symbolize the trinity doctrine - the belief the God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are the same personage - because of its having three leaves on a single stalk. In art, St. Patrick is often depicted as driving the snakes out of Ireland, holding a cross and a shamrock plant in his hands.
It is for this reason that the shamrock is the icon of the holiday St. Patrick's Day, celebrated in mid-March. Today, the holiday is celebrated by wearing shamrocks or their green color to avoid getting pinched, as well as by coloring various food and drink items shamrock green.
Would you like to draw your very own shamrock? Doing so is easy with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to use green crayons, markers, pens, pencils, or paints to shade your finished drawing.
Watch 'How to Draw a Shamrock' Video Tutorial
Step by Step Instructions for Drawing a Shamrock
1. Begin by drawing a set of curved lines. This will form the plant's stem.
2. Just above the stem, draw three long, curved lines extending from a central point. These lines will become the leaf veins. Enclose the bottom of the stem using a short, curved line.
3. Begin to outline the leaves. Draw a long, curved line from the top of the stem to the tip of one of the vein lines. Notice how the leaf balloons outward to form a lobe.
4. Draw another curved line, from the tip of the vein nearly to the center of the plant. Do not fully enclose the shape. The leaf should roughly resemble a heart.
5. Picking up where you left off, continue to extend the curved line to the tip of the next leaf vein.
6. From the leaf vein, extend a curved line towards the center of the figure. Again, do not fully enclose the leaf.
7. Using curved lines, complete the heart shape of the final leaf, completely enclosing the outline of the shamrock.
8. Erase the hard vein lines from the shamrock. You should be left with a clean outline.
9. Gently sketch in subtle veins, not allowing the lines to meet the center or the edges of the leaf.
10. Color your bright green shamrock. Did you know? Some tropical species of shamrock have purple leaves.Would you like to try your hand at drawing other green and leafy things? Check out our wide selection of plant drawing tutorials, including cartoon flowers, trees, and leaves.