On the Matters’ 37-acre farm in Glenburnie, on the limestone coast of South Australia, there’s a patch of clover the family is looking for for lucky omens.
In their six years there, Marie Matters said they found around 10 four-leaf clovers, but never one to five-leaf.
Now they’ve found two in six months.
Except it wasn’t a four leaf, but a five.
â€œShe was super horny and came to show me, then took her to school and showed all of her classmates,â€ Ms. Matter said.
Five months earlier, Mary’s husband, Noah, had found another five-leaf clover, the first in the family.
He had been researching since he was a child, visiting his grandparents in the Swiss mountains.
“This is something my grandma put me on because just at random when I was a kid when I was hanging out with her I found a four leaf clover and she said ‘oh my god , this is amazing, you are so lucky, “” said Mr Matter said.
Very rare luck
Plant physiologist Dr Nigel Warwick said finding a five-leaved clover – the proper term, leaf refers to the group of leaflets – is a one in 25,000 chance. Other reports have suggested one in a million.
He suggested that in order for these clovers to occur, there had to be random division in the cells of the plant.
â€œYou have thousands of cells dividing to produce the leaf,â€ Dr Warwick said.
â€œSometimes there’s just a random division in the wrong direction with a cell and you might end up on that little apical meristem with something that will instead produce four, five, or six leaflets.
Despite the strong association with Ireland, shamrocks are found all over the world.
Subterranean clover is widely distributed throughout South East Australia and is an important part of a nutritious diet for livestock as a high protein legume.
As for their roots, TomÃ¡s de Bhaldraithe of the Irish Australian Association said that clovers, or young clovers, are an important part of Irish tradition.
â€œIt is woven into mythology that St Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity, the three-leaf clover,â€ Mr. de Bhaldrathe said.
“There are [also] the association of luck and fortune in Irish mythology. “
What about a five leaf clover?
The Matters keep the five-leaf clover safe in a book for now and plan to keep it in resin.