All about the Four Leaf Clover (history, use, secrets)

Like the English rose or the Scottish thistle, the four-leaf clover is an iconic Irish symbol, reminding us of a rich culture and heritage.

Maybe you don't know it, but the four-leaf clover is actually not limited to the Emerald Isle...

It has become one of the most popular lucky charms in the world!

Come and discover all its secrets, explanations on its mysterious origin and its astonishing link with ancient powers.

Contents :

Two different types of clovers

Clover: a plant species in its own right

History of the shamrock as an Irish and Christian symbol…

… but not only !

But actually, why is the four-leaf clover a lucky charm?

Beware of fakes!

How to find a lucky clover?

The clover: an inspiration for art

Why is four-leaf clovers jewelry so popular?

Meaning of lucky clover as jewelry

How to grow clover?

Some other legends about clover

Conclusion

Shamrock serving as an Irish symbol with only three leaves

Two different types of clovers

As you know, the most famous Irish holiday is named after this mysterious character: Saint Patrick.

Without the presence of the lucky clover everywhere, this event would not have the same value.

Although the use of the shamrock as a national attribute dates back hundreds of years, there is often confusion... Yes, the Irish symbol should not be confused with the lucky four-leaf clover. The one associated with Saint Patrick's Day only has three petals!

Before you discover this magnificent country that is Ireland or celebrate (in moderation of course) this famous Saint Patrick's Day, keep in mind that the clover serving as the Irish symbol only has three leaves !

Knowing how to differentiate it from a lucky four-leaf clover could save you a lot of loneliness when a local points out your mistake... and maybe even a black eye.

Like many European peoples, the Irish are known for enjoying a fight, and loving their culture and symbols with all their hearts. If these values ​​speak to you, don't hesitate to discover our brand new selection of four-leaf clover.

grove of green and brown lucky clovers on a white background

Clover: a plant species in its own right

In English, the word used to talk about this Irish symbol is “Shamrock”, a term itself derived from the Gaelic “Seamrog”.

Most of the time, we call clover any species of plant belonging to the genus “ Trifolium ”, which literally means “three leaves”.

Indeed, the type of shamrock that you will most often come across (such as the one serving as the Irish symbol) only has three petals.

It is actually because it is very rare to find that the four-leaf clover is so popular!

Among botanists, there is some disagreement on the subject. A general consensus has, however, been found: it is therefore white clover (one of the most common species) that we consider to be at the origin of Irish folklore.

There is a second consensus: this four-leaf clover necklace is absolutely beautiful.

A glass pendant, a bracelet, a small ring which all represent a lucky clover

The most famous lucky charm

Finding a clover means finding luck

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History of the shamrock as an Irish and Christian symbol…

Basically, is there an explanation for the craze surrounding the four-leaf clover?

Humanity has always sought to make itself luckier.

For centuries, people around the world have been interested in lucky charms, symbols, secrets, etc.

They undoubtedly hoped to find something there to improve their often very difficult daily lives.

The four-leaf clover is no exception, this plant has even become one of the most common lucky charms in the world.

But how did this rarity in nature become a symbol of luck? Well, that's what we're going to see now

It was actually at the time of the conversion of the Irish people to Christianity that the lucky shamrock took its place in Gaelic culture.

The man who would become Saint Patrick had been trying for some time to convert his contemporaries to the religion of Christ.

He then had a wonderful idea. He used a shamrock to easily explain the concept of the Holy Trinity : each leaf represents the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit respectively and, just like these three entities, form a uniform whole.

According to some believers, the three leaves of the Irish symbol represent faith, hope and love. Having a fourth would make the plant capable of bringing luck. Here’s a charming meaning for a lucky clover…

Four is also the number associated with the cross of Christ.

Given the rarity of the four-leaf clover, many Catholics seem to prefer it to the simple three-leaf clover.

There are other stories that try to explain to us why the lucky shamrock holds such a special place in European culture.

A Christian legend says that Eve took a four-leaf clover with her when she was expelled from paradise.

Anyone lucky enough to find one will therefore be in possession of a small piece of paradise.

World map showing us that this Irish lucky charm has been exported throughout the rest of the world

… but not only !

The lucky four-leaf clover is a mysterious symbol, from old legends, which has been passed down over time.

In ancient Egypt, when people got married, the priest gave them a clover in order to bless their union, and to represent a love that is intended to be eternal.

In our countryside in the Middle Ages, we could often hear another story that was astonishing to say the least…

A person who carries a lucky four-leaf clover is said to have the ability to see fairies.

The wearer might also recognize witches and evil spirits who enjoy shape-shifting to deceive mortals.

This story may seem a little far-fetched, but the fact remains that some of our ancestors believed in it !

Some experts have found an explanation for this.

In reality, our Celtic ancestors already used the four-leaf clover as a good luck charm, seeing in it a magical protection that could ward off evil forces, and thus ensure the safety of its wearer.

Europeans in the medieval period therefore truly believed in the power of this symbol which they even passed on to other cultures around the world.

Quickly in fact, the lucky shamrock stopped being just an Irish symbol and spread to the rest of humanity.

In certain regions of the Middle East, for example, this plant was considered an almost magical protection against the “evil eye”.

Used against many threats that seemed real, the orientals believed that the lucky four-leaf clover would only work for those who were pure of heart.

Regardless, the fact is that the lucky clover is a legendary item, and a symbol of protection recognized by many people around the world.

Woman asking a question about clover and its use.

But actually, why is the four-leaf clover a lucky charm?

So what is the secret of clover? Why do so many people readily attribute such mysterious powers to him?

The lucky clover is an uncommon variation of the basic clover. Botanists estimate the probability of finding one to be around 1/10,000.

This rarity can be explained simply: the four-leaf clover actually comes from a genetic mutation. Yes, our herbaceous plant exists in several varieties. Some have white flowers, while others are green. Some have three leaves, and others have four. Here's a video explaining more... but anyway, that's not the topic today.

Lucky clovers are therefore rare and not found in the same abundance as basic clovers. Finding one is a sufficiently exceptional event for it to be associated with rare luck.

Plant resembling a lucky clover and therefore can be used as a fake

Beware of fakes!

If you want to start hunting for lucky clover, we must warn you.

There are fake clovers, which some deceptive merchants will try to sell to you. It's no secret: you must always keep an open but critical mind.

Indeed, in a sector as controversial as that of lucky charms, fakes are legion (this is another reason to take advantage of our expertise !)

For your clover to have four leaves, it must already belong to the species “ Trifolium repens ” (this is the scientific name for white clover).

Trifolium repens is in fact the authentic clover spoken of in various legends, and of which it is so rare to find an individual with four petals.

Rest assured: there is a simple solution to recognizing a real lucky clover.

If the one you find has a smaller petal than the others, it's good. It is indeed a clover that has undergone genetic modification.

If, on the other hand, all four sheets are the same size, you are probably dealing with a fake.

The main “usurping” plants are Oxalis Deppei, Marsilea Quadrifolia and Marsilea Polycarpa. All can be seen as species close to clover, hence the confusion.

Also note that Trifolium repens (the real lucky clover) is almost only found in the Northern hemisphere.

Among the multitude of clovers, only a few can therefore be seen as lucky charms.

In addition to the number of leaves, the size also matters.

However, another criterion is essential: you must believe deeply in the power of your lucky clover.

If you are lucky enough to find a four-leaf clover, something lucky may happen to you in the near future.

Flowerbed filled with thousands of green 4-leaf clovers

How to find a lucky clover?

If you want to hope to find even the slightest lucky clover, there are some tips to follow.

First, look for a bed of clover. Indeed, this plant species is rather invasive, and if you find one, it's a safe bet that there are thousands of them nearby.

Don't search by hand! As we pointed out earlier there is only about one four-leaf clover in every 10,000.

You will therefore be much more efficient by turning several plants at once with the sole of your shoe.

Usually, clovers are found in dry, shady areas, and surrounded by trees and bushes.

If you find a four-leaf clover, keep looking in the same area : as it is a genetic mutation, you may well find several from the same parent.

Overall, clover hunting is a fun activity to share with the whole family, and finding one with four leaves is always an amazement!

Irish Gothic rosette inspired by the shape of a clover

The clover: an inspiration for art

A quatrefoil is a shape designed to resemble a clover. Quatrefoil was quite popular, especially in Gothic architecture.

This term comes from two common Latin words: “quattuor” (which means four) and folium (which translates as leaf).

John Melton, an English writer, wrote the following in 1620:

“If a man walking in the fields finds a four-leaf clover, soon afterward he will find something else good along his path. " (translation)

In 1927, Mort Dixon wrote a song called " I'm looking over a four-leaves clover. " (translation: I'm looking for a four-leaf clover). The famous musician Harry M. Woods composed the music for the song.

Art Mooney and his orchestra turned this song into a major hit of 1948.

Between artist and gardener, there is sometimes only a few bulbs or seedlings difference!

Several lucky necklaces: one with the symbol of the triple moon, one with an emblem of ancient Greek and a nazar boncuk

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Why is four-leaf clovers jewelry so popular?

The world of jewelry is rich and varied. Necklaces, bracelets, rings or earrings, millions of these objects are given away each year.

Among all the symbols at their disposal, the four-leaf clover is one of women's favorites.

Used as a simple good luck charm, but also to recall a certain connection to nature, this Irish symbol has conquered the whole world.

In fact, we (like many other specialists) have noticed that people who wear the lucky clover as jewelry are often more open, optimistic, and care more about the happiness of others.

When we ask them how they explain this, most are speechless.

Who knows, maybe we are here in front of a really effective lucky charm...

In any case, if you like sobriety, you can easily test the powers of the lucky clover thanks to this elegant bracelet.

Lucky 4 leaf clover held in the hands of a father and son

Meaning of lucky clover as jewelry

As we saw previously, each leaf of the clover has a very particular meaning which it therefore gives to the jewelry which represents it.

The four-leaf clover could be seen as so many hearts held together at their ends.

Each of these leaves has a special meaning: hope, faith, love and luck.

These are things we all dream of seeing in our lives!

Here is a more in-depth explanation:

  • The Leaf of Hope : This makes us understand that, although we should not try to change things over which we have no power, we should never lose hope. The sky takes on shades of orange at sunrise and sunset, this color gives us hope that the sun actually sets only to rise again. It is this aspect that makes our Irish symbol so appropriate to designate this courageous people.
  • The leaf of faith : Nothing can be done without hope and trust, keep your faith, keep the right attitude. If you are grateful every day, you will see God open new doors.
  • The leaf of love : There is only one happiness in life, to love and to be loved. True love is hard to find, but you have to have faith and keep hoping to one day find it. Maybe on a street corner you will meet the one who is destined to make you happy.
  • The Luck Leaf : If you want to be lucky, you must first have hope, and you must have faith, you must love and be loved. We therefore understand thanks to this petal of the four-leaf clover that nothing comes for free, and that even luck is not linked to chance because having it requires work upstream.

The meaning of the four-leaf clover is apparently much deeper than we thought!

Such jewelry therefore reminds us of a very important symbol, and constitutes a daily reminder of certain values ​​to apply to be happy.

Whether we're looking to express love, friendship, or courage, a lucky shamrock will make an ideal gift for anyone who holds a place in your heart (including you!)

Green gardening watering can placed on a wooden board in a small garden

How to grow clover?

If you want to grow a bed of clover in your garden, you will need lime (to prepare most soils), water… and sun!

Clover (four-leaf or not) gets its phosphate and potash from the soil and its nitrogen from the air thanks to bacteria that lives on its roots.

This is a hardy plant and can thrive in most soils (sandy loams to clay) and conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade.

Plant clover in spring or early summer, when the soil is loose and moist from spring rains.

Lime in fact is necessary to bring the soil pH to the neutral range (6.0 to 7.0 for good results). On acidic forest soils (especially in areas of acid rain), clover simply will not grow without lime. Lime will also release phosphate and potash from dark forest soils, reducing the need for fertilizer.

To ensure successful growth of your clover seeds, also equip yourself with a pH level test. You will thus know the ideal quantity of lime to add (or not) to your soil.

Growing four-leaf clover can sometimes be strangely complicated. Above you will find some information that should help you with your project. If, however, all your questions have not been answered, here is another article that talks about growing clover in more depth.

Soil preparation: a key step

It's difficult to kill weeds before preparing the ground for your four-leaf clovers, because broad-spectrum herbicides attack them too.

Yet, it is essential that competing vegetation be destroyed before planting.

You will therefore have to plow your soil, then wait 4 to 6 weeks before a second plowing. In fact, this is how long it will take for most invasive plants to germinate and grow large enough to be effectively cut down.

By removing two successive “generations” of these plants, you will effectively eliminate their presence from your clover patch.

How much sun for our clovers?

Clover will grow in light shade, but not very quickly. You will optimize your growth rate if your bed enjoys good sunlight. On the other hand, he will not appreciate too dense shade, but not at all.

If possible, cut back the bushes and trees around your four-leaf clovers to ensure a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Clover: a plant that loves water

Particularly at the start of growth, it is crucial that the seeds are kept moist. Ideally, the soil in which the seeds of your clover are located should never be dry between two waterings.

Most types of clover will tolerate poorly drained soils, but none will grow where water remains stagnant for several weeks.

We have a simple indicator to give you: if the petals of your clover turn yellow and lighten, it is probably because your drainage is poor.

The ideal time to plant

Plant in spring when the frost season is completely over and nighttime temperatures remain positive.

You can plant until the end of summer or even the beginning of autumn, approximately 6 weeks from the start of the cold season.

In the South where snow and freezing temperatures are rare, you can plant throughout the winter.

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Some other legends about clover

It’s clear: the four-leaf clover is a very particular subject for many cultures around the world… but particularly in Europe.

There are a whole bunch of tales and legends which present us with the clover as a powerful good luck charm, the main ingredient in great spells, in short… we see the clover as a little piece of magic!

In particular, here is a list of some stories from European folklore:

  • In Welsh mythology, white clover is often seen as the embodiment of beauty. It is also said that a woman wearing one in her hair will find love.
  • The Germans (from Bavaria in particular) thought in the Middle Ages that clovers allowed the release of mystical powers linked to clairvoyance and mediumship.
  • Across the continent, four-leaf clover was used to ward off witches, but also certain venomous animals that were linked to evil forces.
  • In some villages in Ireland, it was customary to throw handfuls of shamrocks in the path of the bride and groom as they left the church.
  • The Celtic Druids saw clover as a very sacred plant, and they were right. However, the number of potions and remedies that use it is absolutely impressive.

In the end, all this may make us ask ourselves a question…

Was the lucky clover used for its virtues?

Or, on the contrary, would we not have attributed all these powers to it to justify its use?

Green and black clover presented on a wooden table

Conclusion

Enough explanations, here are some conclusions that we can draw from our study:

  • Four-leaf clovers have been considered good luck charms for centuries. This is actually a very old superstition.
  • It is actually one of the most common symbols in the Western world.
  • Based on numerous customs and legends, this lucky charm has carved out a special place in the folklore of many countries.
  • Additionally, this Irish symbol plays a prominent role during St. Patrick's Day due to many ancient legends.
  • If the clover was so appreciated, it is undoubtedly because it is very difficult to find one. The chances of finding a lucky clover are 1/10,000.
  • In jewelry, the four leaves represent hope, faith, love and luck. (This is the most widely shared belief.)

If you also enjoyed this article, do not hesitate to discover the rest of our blog, as well as the results of our research on the lucky four-leaf clover.

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.