Ten Geeky Facts About Shamrocks

Shamrock in the garden

We grow a beautiful patch of white clover in our yard, and enjoy searching for the lucky four leaf specimens. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, my family is hosting a four-leaf clover hunt in our backyard clover patch. We won’t be picking them, but we’ll mark them with little flags. The family member who finds the most four leaf clovers in ten minutes wins a pressed four leaf clover. We haven’t decided what we’ll do if someone finds a specimen with more than four leaves, though!

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and because I’m a huge fan of the humble clover, I’ve collected ten geeky facts about shamrocks.

Ten Geeky Facts About Shamrocks

  1. The White Clover (Trifolium Repens) is the traditional variety of clover recognized as a shamrock.  A shamrock has three leaves.
  2. Shamrocks that have four leaves are rare and are the traditional ‘lucky charms’.
  3. Each leaf of the clover represents something: the first is for hope, the second is for faith, and the third is for love.  If there is a fourth leaf, it is for luck.
  4. Experts claim that there are about 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover.
  5. Researchers found the gene in clovers that turn ordinary three-leaf clovers into the four-leaf types.
  6. If you find a four-leaf clover, you can take a cutting from its plant and put it in a cup of water until it grows roots.  Plant it in your yard to start your own lucky patch.
  7. 1620, Sir John Melton wrote, “If a man walking in the fields finds any four-leafed grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing.”
  8. One clover is actually one leaf of a larger plant, with three leaflets (normally).
  9. White clover provides nitrogen to turf grass, reduces a lawn’s water needs, and converts bare soil into biologically active soil that beneficial organisms above and below the soil surface.
  10. Clover leaves naturally produce anthocyanins, a red pigment. Anthocyanins are believed to have certain health benefits.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-leaf_clover, http://www.wikihow.com/Find-a-Four-Leaf-Clover

http://www.catalogs.com/info/garden-yard/facts-about-four-leaf-clovers.html

http://www.instructables.com/id/4-leaf-Clovers%3A-A-Finder-s-Guide/

http://www.organiclandcare.net/forums/nofa-organic-landscaping-forum/posts/benefits-white-clover

http://www.sare.org/publications/covercrops/white_clover.shtml

http://www.noble.org/press_release/2010/10-030.html

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