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Posted by on May 30, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Why Is a Four-leaf Clover Lucky?

Why Is a Four-leaf Clover Lucky?

Have you ever looked for a four-leaf clover? Clover plants usually have three leaves, but sometimes more, it is supposed to be good luck if a person finds one with four leaves. This superstition is so old that no one knows exactly how or where it began.

But there is an old legend that some people believe that when Adam and Eve were sent away from Paradise, Eve took a four-leaf clover with her. Because the clover was a bit of green from the beautiful Garden of Eden, it came to be considered an omen of good luck if found in one’s own garden.

Some folk traditions assign a different attribute to each leaf of a clover. The first leaf represents hope, the second stands for faith, the third is for love and the fourth leaf brings luck to the finder. A fifth leaf represents money, but there is no meaning as yet for the sixth leaf and above.

“The symbolism of the four-leaf clover may be everywhere, but a real one is actually a rarity.” About 1 specimen in 10,000 of Trifolium repens (aka white clover) has four leaves instead of the usual three. Trifolium is Latin for “three leaf.”

“Saint Patrick was said to use the shamrock, the three-leaf clover, to teach about the Holy Trinity.” “The four-leaf version is supposed to stand for faith, hope, love and luck.”

It’s said that only by finding one accidentally is a four-leaf clover lucky, but the reason for the extra leaf is pure science. “The cause of the fourth leaf is likely genetic. Because it’s so rare, it might be a recessive gene—or some type of mutation.” In 2010, scientists at the University of Georgia found and manipulated a gene that produces a fourth leaf on Trifolium repens.

Content for this question contributed by Beth Kaylor, resident of Pittsbugh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA