The true four-leaf clover is found on the Trifoleum Repens, or White Clover plant. This plant produces a trailing vine with dark green coloring and small, white flowers.
Perhaps the best way to recognize that a four-leaf clover comes from the White Clover is the simple fact that the fourth leaf is generally a tiny bit smaller in size than the other three leaves. Each of the leaves are said to stand for a particular quality.
The first leaf represents faith. The second leaf represents hope. The third leaf represents love. The fourth leaf represents luck, which is why it is said that anyone who discovers a true four-leaf clover will experience good luck in the near future. Another reason behind the belief that the fourth leaf brings luck is that this particular plant does not produce four-leaf clovers naturally, so whenever one is found, it is thought to be truly lucky.
White Clovers are commonly referred to as Shamrocks by people of Irish descent. The Shamrock is considered the unofficial symbol of Ireland. As such, the shamrock is seen as a symbol of independence as well as rebellion. It carries the same sense of independence from Britain that the wearing of the green symbolizes.
In Gaelic, shamrock is referred to as seamrog. The shamrock only has three leaves in its depiction as the unofficial symbol of Ireland. The official symbol is actually the Celtic Harp. Irish tradition also infers that the three-leaf clover actually symbolizes the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. If a true four-leaf clover is discovered, the clover represents the Holy Trinity along with the grace of God, which is symbolized by the fourth leaf.
Many people are fooled into believing that one of the imposters is actually a four-leaf clover. Two common imposters include the Oxalis Tetraphylla (Oxalis Deppei) and the Pepperwort (Marsilea Quadrifolia) or Water Clover. Both of these plants produce four-leaf clovers naturally, so there is nothing magical about finding one of them. They simply occur all of the time. The leaves of these four-leaf clovers are quite similar in size as well.
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