Since it’s March and nearly Saint Patricks Day…this month is dedicated to none other than the four leaf clover.
Real, genuine four-leaf clovers come from the White Clover plant, trifolium repens, considered to be the Original Shamrock. You may find others selling leaves as four-leaf clovers that are not genuine. These are actually Pepperwort or Water Clover (Marsilea Quadrifolia and Marsilea Polycarpa) or Oxalis (Oxalis deppei or Oxalis tetraphylla) plants that produce all four leaves. Another way of identifying a real four-leaf clover is that the fourth leaf is usually smaller than the other three leaves.
In Irish tradition the Shamrock or 3-leaf Clover represents the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock is found with the fourth leaf, it represents God’s Grace.
legend, Eve carried a four leaf clover from the Garden of Eden.
“The clovers 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.” Clover Science and Technology”. N.L. Taylor, 1985.
Druids held the 4 leaf clover in high esteem and considered them a sign of luck. In 1620, Sir John Melton wrote: “If a man walking in the fields find any four-leaved grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing.
The mystique of the four leaf clover continues today, since finding a real four leaf clover is still a rare occurrence and omen of good luck.