Four-leaf clover symbols and superstitions;
Italian automobile maker Alfa Romeo used to paint a four leaf clover, or quadrifoglio, on the side of their racing cars. This tradition started in the 1923 Targa Florio race, when driver Ugo Sivocci decorated his car with a green clover on a white background.
Los Angeles based space exploration company SpaceX include a four leaf clover on each space mission embroidered patch as a good luck charm.
Inclusion of the clover has become a regular icon on SpaceX's flight patches ever since the company's first successful Falcon 1 rocket launch in 2008, which was the first mission to feature a clover "for luck" on its patch.
Celtic Football Club, a soccer team from Glasgow Scotland, have used the four leaf clover as the club's official badge for over 40 years.
Genuine four-leaf clovers come from the White Clover plant, trifolium repens. A true four-leaf clover, its fourth leaf is usually smaller than the other three leaves.
What do the leaves symbolize?
One leaf is for FAITH... The second for HOPE... The third for LOVE... And the fourth for LUCK!
The four leaf clover as accepted symbol of good luck, has an age old history. The clovers were valued in the cultural life of early peoples. White clover (T. repens L.) was held in high esteem by the early Celts of Wales as a charm against evil spirits. Druids considered the 4 leaf clover to bring them good luck.
The four-leaf clover is a rare variation of the common three-leaved clover. Good luck of a four leaf clover is especially enhanced if found accidentally! (4 and 5 leaf clovers are also bred and cultivated.)
Clovers can have more than four leaves: Five-leaf clovers are less commonly found naturally than four-leaf clovers; collectors, particularly in Ireland, regard the five-leaf clover, known as a rose clover, as a particular prize. In very rare cases, clovers are able to grow with six leaves or more in nature.
A four leaf clover is as rare as 1 in 10’000. Its relative rarity suggests a possible recessive gene appearing at a low frequency, or a somatic mutation, or a developmental error of environmental causes. This means that multiple four-leaf clovers could be found in the same clover plant.
Researchers from the University of Georgia have reported finding the gene that turns ordinary three-leaf clovers into the coveted four-leaf types. Masked by the three-leaf gene and strongly influenced by environmental condition, molecular markers now make it possible to detect the presence of the gene for four-leaves and for breeders to work with it. The results of the study, which also located two other leaf traits in the white-clover genome, were reported in the July/August 2010 edition of Crop Science, published by the Crop Science Society of America.
The other leaf traits, the red fleck mark and red midrib, a herringbone pattern that runs down the center of each leaflet in a bold red color, were mapped to nearby locations, resolving a century-old question as to whether these leaf traits were controlled by one gene or two separate genes.
White clover has many genes that affect leaf color and shape, and the three in the study were very rare. These traits can be quite attractive, particularly if combined with others, and can turn clover into an ornamental plant for use in flower beds.
Farms in the US specialize in four-leaf clovers, producing as many as 10,000 a day, sealed in plastic as "lucky charms".
Courtesy excerpts from Wikipedia/ photos Pinterest