While St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity, the four-leaf clover has long been associated with good luck. As far back as 1640, people believed that finding a four-leaf clover was a good omen for children and adults alike. In 1869, it was reported that witches gathered four-leaf clovers beneath the silvery light of the full moon to mix with herbal concoctions. But young girls could find "perfect happiness" by hunting and finding four-leaf clovers in the light of the day.
In 1877, an eleven-year-old reader wrote to St. Nicholas Magazine: "Did the fairies ever whisper in your ear that a four-leaf clover brought good luck to the finder?" The idea that a four-leaf clover brings good luck to the finder has stuck ever since. The ability to see fairies is also associated with finding a four-leaf clover.
In reality, the fourth leaf represents a rare mutation that occurs in one out of 5,000 clover leaves. The odds of finding one are rather stiff. But dedicated searchers spend hours looking for that good luck charm. Five- and six-leaf clover are also possible although much, much rarer and harder to find.
Entrepreneur and CEO Elon Musk has even incorporated a green four-leaf clover on many of his embroidered space patches. He knows the importance of a good luck charm!