The four-leaf clover is an uncommon variation of the common, three-leafed clover. According to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. For one Mexico woman, who recently found a patch growing in her yard, this could mean a fortune of good luck.
Sher-rE Cox lives in a house on Cleveland Street that she shares with her four children, ranging in age from 4-11 years old (there's the first symbolic four). Standing outside in her yard recently, talking to her mother on the telephone, Cox glanced at the ground, and spotted the first four-leaf clover. As the conversation continued, she found another. Then another, and another, until she had to put away the phone, and bend down for a closer look. At last count Monday, Cox had collected nearly 50 of the leaflets – and within the patch, she would later find that even more were hidden within the blades of grass.
"Mom told me to put them up, because they meant good luck," Cox recalled. Being of Irish descent, Cox was raised to believe the legend about Shamrocks, four-leaf clovers, and the infamous pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But never in her life did she expect to find so many clovers.
According to legend, each leaf represents something: the first is for hope, the second is for faith, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.
In Irish tradition, the Shamrock or three-leaf clover represents the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock is found with the fourth leaf, it represents God's Grace – which is what Cox is hoping for.
"As a kid, I always found them," she said. But now, she's hoping for a little grace.
Cox has a child suffering with issues that forces him to seek care outside the home. Sometimes, extended stays. Cox is hoping that her luck from the clovers is more aimed at her son coming home sooner than expected, and in better condition than he was when he left.
She also extended good faith for her family and home.
Since finding the patch, Cox has become fascinated with the history of the clover. It has been estimated there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover.
Clovers can have more than four leaves: the most ever recorded is 21, a record set in June 2008 by the same man who held the prior record and the current Guinness World Record of 18. Unofficial claims of discovery have ranged as high as 27. Some people believe that a five-leaf clover is even luckier than a four-leaf one. Five-leaf clovers are less commonly found naturally than four-leaf clovers, however they, too, have been successfully cultivated.
Other plants may be mistaken for, or misleadingly sold as, "four-leaf clovers." For example, Oxalis tetraphylla is a species of wood sorrel with leaves resembling a four-leaf clover.
When Cox contacted The Ledger about her find, more research was needed to determine if her patch was authentic. According to State Agronomist Jim Jarman, what Cox has in her yard is called white clover – which produces little white blooms, and is considered to produce the lucky clover
"It's one of the Dutch white clover that you find in lawns," Jarman said as he viewed an email photograph The Ledger had forwarded for identification. "There are four-leaf varieties that tend to produce a higher percentage of four-leaf clovers than others."
Asked why Cox had so many in one patch in her yard, Jarman said, "Weather may have stimulated the four-leafiness. Rain and cool weather are contributing factors."
Jarman further noted that it's rather common to find four-leaf clovers in lawns, especially those that are well maintained. If the lawns are fertilized, he said, they tend to stimulate the grass growth, rather than clover, because of their nitrogen levels. And, rain tends to carry them away through soil. So, this can make grass less vigorous, and allow the clover to dominate a little more. It could have also been carried by animals that eat the blooms.
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