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St. Patrick's Day
"🎶 I'm looking over a four leaf clover
That I overlooked before
One leaf's for sunshine, the second for rain
Third is for roses that bloom in the lane
No need explaining
The one remaining is somebody I adore
I'm looking over a four leaf clover
That I overlooked before."
~ "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover", Mort Dixon and Harry M. Woods, 1927
One of the most recognized symbols of St. Patrick's Day and Ireland, the shamrock is a young sprig of a clover plant, its name coming from the Irish seamróg which is the diminutive of the Irish word seamair meaning "young clover". At most times, Shamrock refers to either the species Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí) or Trifolium repens (white clover, Irish: seamair bhán). However, other three-leaved plants—such as Medicago lupulina, Trifolium pratense, and Oxalis acetosella—are also often called shamrocks. Though usually appearing in leaves of three, the four-leafed clover are quite uncommon, with only about 1 in 10,000 plants producing a clover with an extra leaf. However, In 2014, a Glen Alpine, New South Wales woman plucked 21 four-leaf lucky clovers from her front yard, defying the odds. St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is said to have used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with the fourth leaf apocryphally representing the Grace of God. More prosaically, the common four-leafed clovers (Oxalis deppei) leaves are said to stand for faith, hope, love and luck! May the luck of the Irish be yours today! 🇮🇪 ☘️ 🍀
By designer Carol A.L. Martin, the colors in the Four-Leaf Clover tartan evoke the shades of clover leaves and flowers, in intense magical shades marking the discovery of a lucky four-leaf clover.
The four-leaf clover is a rare variation of the common three-leaved clover. According to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. In addition, each leaf is believed torepresent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.
Clovers can have more than four leaves: The most leaves ever found on a single clover stem (Trifolium repens L.) is 56 and was discovered by Shigeo Obara of Hanamaki City, Iwate, Japan, on 10 May 2009. Five-leaf clovers are less commonly found naturally than four-leaf clovers; however, they, too, have been successfully cultivated. Some four-leaf clover collectors, particularly in Ireland, regard the five-leaf clover, known as a rose clover, as a particular prize.
Shown above, Oxalis tetraphylla - also known as "lucky leaf" and even "four-leaf clover", it is not a true clover.
4-leaf clovers are a mutation of the usually 3-leafed White Clover plant, Trifolium repens. One clover is actually one leaf of a larger plant, with 3 leaflets. Mutations can occur due to a low frequency recessive gene or environmental causes. Often the reason for mutation is differentiable from one clover to another.
For instructions on how to find a real four-leaf clover that you can put into practice today, click the picture of oxalis tetraphylla.
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.