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Mansfield Magazine

The Surprising Significance & History of the Four-Leaf Clover

Mar 26, 2017 01:00PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
In our recent in-print article, "Tips for Growing Irish Plants in North Central Texas," we grew curious about the history of the four-leaf clover and its significance. In the Irish culture, its importance is weighted and is a staple of St. Patrick's Day celebrations. 

To find out more, we turned to

Facts about Real Four Leaf Clovers

Did you know that there are several, similar varieties of clovers? 

According to, "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."

Once you find a genuine four-leaf clover, each leaf has it's own significance. One leaf is for FAITH... The second for HOPE... The third for LOVE... And the fourth for LUCK.

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

A Little History of the Four-Leaf Clover

The four leaf clover is a universally accepted symbol of good luck with its origin ages old. According to 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.

Visit to learn more.  

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