Not Martha

Four-leaf clovers

My superpower is being able to find four-leaf clovers. It’s not very handy but, hey, the luck might rub off. This patch was one I spotted next to a sidewalk last month and it was so full of perfect four and five-leaf clovers I couldn’t bring myself to actually pick any.

Staring at that patch I realized that I still didn’t know if four-leaf clovers are caused by mutation or a recessive gene and looking at the Wikipedia article on four-leaf clovers it appears that the answer is that science doesn’t really know either, that it’s sort of both. Some points about clover that I particularly liked from that entry:

  • Each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.
  • Clovers can have more than four leaves: the most ever recorded is 56, discovered by Shigeo Obara of Morioka, Japan, on May 12, 2009. (Editor’s note: daaamn.) There is a photograph.
  • A five-leaf clover is known as a rose clover. That is so lovely.
  • There are reports of farms in the US which specialize in four-leaf clovers, producing as many as 10,000 a day by feeding a secret, genetically engineered ingredient to the plants to encourage the aberration. (Are GMO four-leaf clovers still lucky? I think not darling.)

By the way, I find that early Summer and early Autumn are the best times to look for four-leaf clovers. They appear most in clover beds that have been undisturbed for a while (meaning: nobody has cut the grass in a while). My favorite place to look for clovers is in farm fields while walking through a pumpkin patch. The biggest and most perfect four-leaf clovers I’ve ever seen were in a fallow patch of a community garden. Go forth and stare intently at the ground. And good luck.

· comments [30] · 06-4-2013 · categories:misc ·

30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kim // Jun 4, 2013 at 4:26 am

    I have that same superpower! I swear that it’s genetic. My grandpa could drive along in his tractor and spot them. He used to take us hunting when we were kids and now I have an ability that makes people a tiny bit jealous every time I manage to find another.

  • 2 Libby // Jun 4, 2013 at 6:12 am

    I have that superpower too.

    I actually found a 5 leaf clover recently:

  • 3 Accacia // Jun 4, 2013 at 6:51 am

    I learned this skill from my now-husband, so while it may be genetic for him (his mom and grandfather also have it) it’s not always that way. We had a four leaf clover finding contest at our recent wedding. It was a tie with the top hunters finding 20 or so. The tie was broken with a count of most leaves – winner had found several with 5 and 6 leaves. Lots of fun!

  • 4 Danielle // Jun 4, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Thanks for making me smile this morning!

  • 5 Cassandra // Jun 4, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Your superpower is amazing! When I was a little girl I would scour patches of clover to find a 4-leafed one and I never did. I am so jealous!

  • 6 kristin // Jun 4, 2013 at 7:40 am

    That used to be my superpower, too! I’d find them crawling through a fence, getting out of a vehicle, pretty much any time I looked down. It wasn’t always a power, though. I remember when I was younger, sitting in my cousin’s lawn for hours trying to find one and coming up empty-handed.
    I don’t find them anymore, but it probably has to do with my move to the city where there’re fewer patches of them that aren’t being constantly mowed (although I think I lost the power as soon as my dad died because that’s truly when it stopped). But at least I still have all the ones I found before.

  • 7 Susan // Jun 4, 2013 at 7:44 am

    There was a patch of clover beside the back porch at my grandparent’s house where we could always find four leaf clover. I remember sitting there on the step with my grandmother looking for, and finding, many!

    I hadn’t thought about that in years. Thank you for reminding me!

  • 8 Nancy // Jun 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Soooooo…..there are a bunch of us SuperHero Clover-Aberration Finders in the world…perhaps if we joined forces and used our powers for The Collective Good, we could…um…find a whole lot of four-leafed clovers!

  • 9 Kendra // Jun 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I have found them from time to time, not enough to be called a super power. My youngest daughter was born on St. Patrick’s Day and I have found a few for her. My question is, what is your favorite way to preserve them? I have pressed them between books, but then what? I think I have seen some vintage pendants with the clover between glass.

  • 10 Rinda // Jun 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I have a 4 leaf clover that my best friend gave me in high school (20years ago). I wish i could get it made into jewelry.

  • 11 megan // Jun 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Libby – Oooh it’s a beauty!

  • 12 megan // Jun 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Accacia – I have never found a six leaf clover, amazing!

  • 13 megan // Jun 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Cassandra – I’m not sure what it takes to find them, but keep trying? It can be very relaxing, especially if you bring a picnic.

  • 14 megan // Jun 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    kristin – What a strange turn, I’m so sorry that your dad is no longer with you to bring the luck.

  • 15 megan // Jun 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Susan – how sweet, thank you for telling us about that!

  • 16 megan // Jun 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Nancy – I’m in! We could do group trips to Ireland!

  • 17 megan // Jun 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Kendra – I’m afraid I never took to preserving them, I press them between books and then find them years later. I think between glass would be a good way to go.

    Rinda – Maybe you could find somebody who could but it between or under glass in a pendant like the sort Kendra is talking about? good luck!

  • 18 Molly // Jun 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I have that superpower too! It seems there’s quite a few of us

  • 19 Jennie M // Jun 5, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I love this post…it brought a happy tear of remembrance to my eye.

    In all my life, I’ve never been able to find one but my little sister and I would lay in the grass for an hour or so and she’d always find like three!

    We lost her at the age of 26 but found many of her four leaf clovers that she pressed in the pages of her journal.

    She had a beautiful soul.

  • 20 julie // Jun 5, 2013 at 7:25 am

    It’s funny that you post this b/c, after years of searching, I found my first four-leaf clover three weeks ago (in all places) right outside my front door. I’d been outside my house that morning, around my driveway and in my yard, was just about to open my front door when I took one last glance off my front porch and did a double take! A millisecond sooner I was wondering if I’d ever spot one and, just like that, it appeared to me :) I wished I’d had some silicate/flower preserver at the time. It’s a bit shriveled now. Should’ve put it in a pendant, like you suggested!

  • 21 Kendra // Jun 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I found something like I was talking about here:–Picture-Frame-25x28mm-Sterling-Silver_p_14096.html?gclid=CN6p9o7XzbcCFco-Mgod0DcAQg

    There must be others out there but it was hard to find one that was glass on both sides. I may order one for the next time I am lucky enough to find a four leaf clover!

  • 22 Nancy // Jun 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    If anyone would like their clovers (any number of leaves!) set into a resin pendant, I’d be glad to make one…I can add text, too. I make these for my Etsy shop.

  • 23 monica // Jun 6, 2013 at 3:27 am

    how interesting. I’ve never found one… and not for lack of trying!!

  • 24 Pat Upton // Jun 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Me too! I can find 4 leaf clovers almost any time! In high school, I found one with 8 leaves! I pressed it and glued it to a piece of paper and showed it off and no one believed me!

  • 25 Allison // Jun 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    My father-in-law was a master of finding four leaf clovers, and he swore that they were a different color to him. We could be sitting in a field, and he would be able to spot one from 20 feet away with certainty. He also had a theory that high tension power lines mutated the genes, because he found the most four leaf clovers there. He collected thousands of them in his lifetime and turned them into amazing art.

  • 26 Laurie // Jul 9, 2013 at 3:01 am

    I too have always been able to spot four-leaf clovers. A thought occurred to me today – I don’t see likenesses in people (except identical twins). People say my granddaughter looks just like her mother – I can’t see it. Then I thought, maybe my brain is wired to see differences, not likenesses, that’s why the ability to spot four-leaf clovers. What do you all think?

  • 27 mel // Sep 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Super late to this post but I found it while searching for clovers.

    I think the first time I found lucky clovers it was in a farming area. I think they were regular white clovers but some of them had 7, 8, 9 leaves! I figured they must have been sprayed a lot with chemicals or something!

    I didn’t realize then that there are breeds of clover or shamrocks that already come with 4 leaves, and I bought a black clover last year that did just that.

    Today I went out to pick a few (their 2nd year), and they weren’t very black anymore. Most alarming was they were all 3 -leafed with a few straggling old 4-leafed stems! Noooo!

    I don’t know if something has happened to them or if they were overtaken by a white clover that got in there somehow? MYSTERY.

  • 28 Kevin Misch // Oct 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Megan,
    Do you by chance know of any names or physical farms by name and or city that grow 4 leave clovers? I am searching frantically for one…lol

  • 29 Mark Kugler // May 1, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I came across this post trying to find out if there were people like me. I do believe there can be a hereditary gift to finding them as my aunt and I are able to locate them at will. It’s funny because it’s not something I do often but when I actually want to find one (about once or twice a year I’ll get the urge) I am able to find one in minutes. My earliest memory of this gift was when I interrupted my Little League game to have my father press the clover in his wallet which I had just found in center field…

  • 30 Kaja // Aug 22, 2014 at 2:14 am

    My mom always used to find four leaf clovers. It was amazing she would just walk around the backyard and pick them up one by one. I was never good at finding them. I’d maybe find one a year and that was it but recently I’ve started to find them everyday and then just around the same time my mom started to find five leaf clovers. So now she only finds the five leafs and I find four leaf clovers.

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