Some Clovers Have Five Leaves or More

The five-leaf clover is also a mutation, only rarer

  Five-leaf clover - luck or not?

Tradition and legend have it that four-leaf clovers bring luck to their finders. You might tend to believe that, but if you happen to find a five-leaf clover, what would be your first thought? According to common superstition, this kind of clover brings even more good luck to the already lucky discoverer, plus a bonus amount of money. Well, there are also reports of 6 or 7-leaved clovers, but hold on the assault of the gardens and backyards for a little longer.

 

First of all, think of the world record held by a Japanese farmer, Shigeo Obara, from the Iwate prefecture. He found some super-clovers in his garden, one of 18 leaflets, while the other had 21 (the Guinness records site only acknowledges the former). Still, he didn't get any richer or luckier. If anything, it's rather unlucky for the poor tiny plant to have mutated as such. Imagine a person with 21 hands - would you consider yourself any luckier for finding them?

 

The clover (Trifolium, Latin for “three leaves”) is a species of the pea family of Fabaceae, which comprises more than 300 species. It is encountered all over the world, from high tropical mountains to low plains in Africa and South America, but most frequently and in greater diversity in the temperate northern hemisphere. The presence of more than 3 leaflets is clearly a mutation, often determined by weather or growing conditions. The 4-leaf type occurs once every 10,000 cases, and the scarcity increases with the number of leaflets.

 

Legend associates the leaves of clover with hope, faith, love, while the 4th, being the rarest, goes with luck. The plant also contains a trace amount of morphine, so be careful when consuming milk from cows feeding on clovers – your blood or urine samples may indicate drug use symptoms, which might not bring you any amount of luck, regardless of the leaf number.

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By    31 Oct 2008, 15:25 GMT