Facts about four leaf clovers

By David Pettebone
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

Rate This Article:

3.7 / 5.0
close up of a field of clover
There are about 10,000 regular three-leaf clovers for one lucky clover
  • Share
  • Tweet

Interesting facts about four leaf clovers will have you keeping your eyes open

The four leaf clover is a universally accepted symbol of good luck. The origin of the story is centuries old.

The four-leaf clover is one of the most common North American lucky emblems and is an especially frequent image on good luck coins, and good luck postcards. It takes a lot of effort to search for four-leaf varieties - you can find them among the other leaves, only if you have sharp eyesight

Shamrocks (with three or four leaves) have been considered good-luck symbols by the Irish since early times, and shamrocks or various representations of the plant are frequently worn on Saint Patrick's Day. The hop variety is widely accepted as the original shamrock picked by Saint Patrick. The name shamrock comes from the Irish Seamrog, which means "little clover."

History of the four leaf clover:

According to legend, Eve carried a four leaf clover from the Garden of Eden. They also occupied a position in the cultural life of early peoples. White clover (T. repens L.) in particular was held in high esteem by the early Celts of Wales as a charm against evil spirits.

Why is the four leaf clover considered a lucky charm?

Since the operative number here is four, the history behind these unusual plants as lucky charms is clearly distinct from the Trinitarian tradition behind the three leave shamrock.

The significance invested in them pre-dates Christianity, going back to the pagan period, when they were Celtic charms. Celtic dominance once extended across Ireland and much of Western Europe. It was the Druids (Celtic priests) who elevated the plants with four leaves to the status of Celtic charms, allegedly potent against malevolent spirits. Their status as Celtic charms is the origin of the modern belief in their power to bestow good luck.

The first literary reference to draw on the tradition as Celtic charms seems to have been made in 1620. In that year Sir John Melton wrote, "If a man walking in the fields finds any four-leafed grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing." Since there are on average, 10,000 three leaf clovers for every instance of a true four leaf clover, Sir Melton's hunter would have had to have excellent vision as well as good luck!

The leaves of these unusual little green plants are sometimes said to stand for faith, hope, love, and luck.

However, another interpretation is widely known via the following verse:

"I'm looking over a four-leaf clover That I overlooked before. One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain, Third is the roses that grow 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. "

While a song hardly gives us solid facts, it does offer another insight into the value people have placed upon these natural oddities.

Throughout history they have been thought to bring luck, mostly because they are so rare. There are no clover plants that naturally produce four leaves.

The mystique of this lucky charm continues today, since finding a real four leaf clover is still a rare occurrence and omen of good luck.

There are plenty other Celtic good luck charms with rich history just like the green plant variety. For example, the Celtic cross possesses a powerful and fascinating history that many find interesting.

Now that you know the facts, we wish you luck in finding one!

Rate this Article

Click on the stars below to rate this article from 1 to 5

  • Share
  • Tweet