- A three-leaf clover is also called a shamrock, from the Irish word seamróg, meaning “little clover.”
- The shamrock is a registered trademark of the Irish government.
- Four-leaf clovers are a mutation of the typically three-leaf white clover and occur in approximately one in ten thousand clovers.
- There are over three hundred species of clover, but white clover (Trifolium repens) is widely considered the true clover of good fortune.
- White clover (also known as Dutch Clover) is native to Europe, North Africa and West Asia, but is now grown around the world as a groundcover or pasture crop for livestock.
- St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity, with the leaves of the three-leaf clover representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A fourth leaf came to represent God’s Grace.
- Celtic legend ascribes the three leaves of a shamrock to represent faith, hope and love. A fourth, of course, represents luck.
- Clover mutations can produce even more than four leaves, although the rarity increases.
- The odds of finding a five-leaf clover are one in a million.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most leaves found on a clover was 56, discovered in Japan in 2009.
- Napoleon was allegedly saved from a fatal bullet when he leaned over to inspect a four-leaf clover.
- Abraham Lincoln wasn’t so lucky. It is said Lincoln frequently carried a four-leaf clover, but left it behind when heading off to an evening at Ford’s Theatre.
- Ancient Druids carried clover to ward off evil spirits.
- In Ireland, four-leaf clovers are sometimes included in wedding bouquets to ensure good fortune in marriage.
- Four-leaf clovers may become less rare. In 2010, scientists at the University of Georgia isolated the gene that causes the “lucky” mutation.
Once you’ve found one, keep looking! The mutation found in four-leaf clovers exist in the roots and the likelihood of finding others in the same space drastically increases. The most four-leaf clovers found by an individual is over 111,000 in a period of fifteen years. No word on his lottery winnings.
And remember—to find a four-leaf clover is lucky, but give it to a friend and your luck is doubled.
Originally: How to Find a Four-Leaf Clover