What makes a four-leaf clover a lucky legume?

A little look back at lucky clovers for the celebration of St. Patrick’s day. Are you out looking for a lucky 4-leaf clover today? Or are you just hoping for a leprechaun to come your way?

Urban Garden Guru

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  If you are out and about looking for a four leaf clover on this auspicious day, keep in mind that the thing that makes them lucky is that they are hard to find.

A true four leaflet (a clover technically only has a simple leaf with multiple leaflets) clover is a four-leaved variation of the usually 3-leaflet white clover (Trifolum repens).  Why is that so?

The current theory is that four leaflets are caused by a rare, naturally occurring recessive gene in combination with environmental factors.  This can explain the rarity of “four leaf” clovers and why you sometimes find them in patches. The three leaflet version of the gene is so abundant that it is rare to find a clover without it.  When you do, you’ll count yourself as lucky.

An example of how recessive and dominant genes function can be found in hair color…

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