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Lucky clover should bring good times to the recipient. But in contrast to the real four-leaf clover from the meadow, the lucky clover is a dime a dozen. Anyone who finds the special leaf in nature can count themselves really lucky.

4-leaf clovers are extremely rare

Table of Contents

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  1. the essentials in brief
  2. symbol of luck
  3. Search Guide
  4. plant and care for
  5. frequently asked Questions
  6. the essentials in brief

    • According to studies, only one leaf clover in 5000 has four leaves
    • Numerous myths surround the four-leaf clover and have made it a popular lucky charm
    • The lucky clover, which comes from Mexico, is often given away as a lucky charm on New Year's Eve, but it quickly withers in a warm room because it needs light and cool in winter

    symbol of luck

    The four-leaf clover has a special meaning in Christian symbolism. Here it embodies the cross and the four gospels. The fact that the leaf is associated with luck is not only due to its rarity. The symbolism probably goes back to the strong and vigorous growth of the plants. The superstition has survived to this day, so that the four-leaf clover is a popular template for tattoos, sayings and drawings.

    Myths about the 4-leaf clover:

    • Eva took a leaf with her when she was expelled from paradise
    • Celtic druids use them as a remedy against evil spirits
    • English writer John Melton was probably the first to mention the shamrock as a symbol of good luck

    Why are some sheets in four parts?

    So far, it has not been clearly clarified whether the phenomenon is due to a genetic or environmental cause. Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered a rare gene that turns a three-leaf clover into a four-leaf clover. They suspect that leaf development is strongly influenced by environmental factors. Various triggers may be responsible for the mutation. It could also be that the interaction of several genes is responsible for the malformation.

    How rare are four leaf clovers?

    The chances of finding a four-leaf clover are extremely slim. There are no scientific studies on the frequency so far. Collectors report different quotas. Two cloverleaf enthusiasts from Bern conducted a study themselves in 2022. They searched 35 locations in six different European countries. According to their finds, there is one four-leaf leaf for every 5,000 three-leaf clovers. They have thus doubled the find rate, which was previously estimated at 1:10,000. During their recordings, the two also found plants with six to eight-part leaves.

    Search Guide

    If you want to find a four leaf clover you need to look in all the right locations. In principle, you can find the little lucky charms everywhere. Once you've found a leaf, you're more likely to find other malformed leaves nearby.

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    Find the right clover

    Most four-leaf clovers occur on white clover (Trifolium repens). From a botanical point of view, the supposed four leaves represent only one leaf, which is divided into four parts. In addition to the typical three leaflets, another is formed, which is much smaller than the other three leaflets.

    Not to be confused with:

    • Lucky clover (Oxalis tetraphylla)
    • Four-leaf clover fern (Marsilea quadrifolia)

    locate locations

    White clover is widespread throughout Germany and prefers to grow in meadows and pastures. Since the species is extremely resistant to foot traffic, it is often found along roadsides and on sports facilities. The plant grows on nutrient-rich and moist soil that is slightly calcareous and loamy. White clover also grows on sandy soil. Although the lucky leaves are mutations, the plants do not necessarily have to grow near busy roads or power plants. Four-leaf clovers can also occur in rural areas.

    Four-leaf clovers stand out in a sea of three-leaf clovers

    Four-leaf clovers can be found anywhere. To the trained eye, they are hard to miss.

    digression

    Klee as an all-rounder

    Meadows full of clover are considered fresh and fertile. This is due to a very specific property of the plant. It lives in a symbiosis with nodule bacteria, which bind nitrogen from the air and make it available to plants. In this way, clover increases soil fertility and animal visitors also appreciate it. Because of its high protein content, clover is a popular fodder crop for sheep and cattle. Nectar is produced in the long calyx, which attracts long-nosed insects. Clover is often grown to produce clover honey.

    search area

    White clover prefers to be found in the company of other individuals and rarely grows alone. As a result, the plants form extensive carpets that are difficult to study. Therefore, there is no point in looking at each individual cloverleaf. Focus on a demarcated area the size of an A3 sheet of paper:

    1. Scan the surface in lines with your eyes
    2. pay attention to leaf symmetry
    3. look closer if you notice a leaf with three symmetrical leaflets and one smaller leaflet
    4. look further in the vicinity

    Store

    Place the collected sheet between newspapers and press it with a heavy book. Change the newspaper daily to keep the sheet from rotting. When it's completely dry, you can frame it or immortalize it in homemade pendants.

    Obtain clear resin from a hardware store or use tree sap you have collected yourself. Place the leaf in a flexible plastic lid and pour the liquid resin over it. After drying, the pendant can be removed from the lid by bending it slightly. You can then pierce a small hole and thread a string for hanging.

    tips

    You can also pour liquid and colorless candle wax over the leaf.

    Plant and care for lucky clover

    The trade has recognized that the four-leaf clover sells well. Therefore, species with four-lobed leaves have established themselves as symbols of luck in nurseries and hardware stores. There are also breeds of white clover that form the lucky leaves:

    • Trifolium repens 'Purpurascens Quadrifolium' with purple leaves
    • Trifolium repens 'Quadrifolium' with green leaves
    • Trifolium repens 'Good Luck' with 3 to 5 leaflets that develop a dark center

    The typical clover that you can buy in every supermarket on New Year's Eve is a species of the sorrel family. The four-leaf sorrel originally comes from Mexico. Overgrown stocks appear again and again in Europe.

    Lucky clover has claims

    Lucky clover often dies as a potted plant on the window sill

    The plant is given away in small pots as a lucky charm on New Year's Eve. It doesn't last very long on the windowsill, because it prefers cool temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius and lots of light. Heated air is not good for her. The substrate should be humus rich and have good drainage. Mix heavy soil with sand to improve structure. In summer the clover can be planted in the bed. A sheltered spot in the semi-shade offers ideal conditions. The bulbs are placed about five centimeters deep in the ground.

    tips

    If you want to grow the lucky clover yourself, you can dig up the rhizomes in the fall and divide them.

    care and overwinter

    If you keep in mind that the lucky clover originated in Mexico, caring for it is not very difficult. The plant has a main growing season followed by a winter break. The clover draws the energy from the leaves and stores it in small nodules. These are wintered dry and frost-free. If it is watered all year round, the plant does not wither and continues to grow.

    As? Why?
    Fertilize every three weeks between April and August high nutrient consumption in the growth phase
    To cut not at all requires leaves for nutrient production
    pour economical prefers moderately moist soil
    repot plant in loamy soil in March Roots need space

    plant description

    Lucky clover not only has beautiful leaves but also pretty flowers

    Oxalis tetraphylla grows as a perennial bulbous plant and reaches heights of 20 centimeters. The shoot axis grows completely underground. Only the leaves stick out of the substrate from April and unfold in daylight. They always align themselves with the sunlight and fold up as soon as the sun goes down. Lucky clover propagates via subterranean spurs, where brood nodules are formed. In this way, he can proliferate strongly.

    • Leaves light green with a violet center, slightly hairy
    • one to three flowers stand on a long stem
    • Flowering time extends from April to June
    • Lucky clover blooms pink

    frequently asked Questions

    What is the probability of finding a four-leaf clover?

    The literature does not agree on how often the malformed leaves occur. Different information is circulating. However, two amateur researchers from Switzerland looked at growth sites all over Europe and counted four-leaf clovers. They found that every 5,000 three-leaf clovers are followed by a four-leaf one.

    How many leaves can a clover have?

    In 2009 the Japanese Shigeo Obara discovered a shamrock that had 56 small individual leaves. He set a record and was included in the Guinness Book of Records. It is possible that shamrocks are pinnate in five to eight parts. However, the probability of finding such malformations decreases as the number of leaflets increases.

    Where can I find four leaf clovers?

    In principle, you can meet the lucky charm wherever clover grows. The mutations are often discovered in white clover. Pay attention to nutrient-rich and not too dry locations such as meadows and pastures. The larger the clover carpets are, the more chance you have of finding them.

    Is the lucky clover a special breed?

    The lucky clover is a species of sour clover that is native to Mexico. It naturally forms four-pinnate leaves, the center of which glows dark purple. Since the four-leaf clover established itself as a symbol of luck, trade has specialized in selling this plant seasonally. You can find lucky clover in supermarkets and garden centers especially on New Year's Eve.

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