The Irish Shamrock is usually what the rest of us call white clover, Trifolium repens, or sometimes lesser clover, T. dubium. But there’s at least one variety that always produces four leaves, and sometimes five.
Trifolium repens 'Purpurascens Quadrifolium' – a bit of a mouthful, I know -not only has almost all its leaves with four divisions, there are sometimes five. What’s more, they’re purple with a slender green rim (left, click to enlarge). It’s very pretty.
But what about that clover in the top of the picture? That’s ‘Green Ice’, one of a number of attractive varieties that turned up by chance in a project designed to develop better varieties for forage.
These are both great foliage plants, but susceptible to attack from weevils which nip the edges of the leaves – and also attack garden peas.
But hey, seems like cheating, doesn’t it, to actually plant a four-leaf clover? Don’t you have to find them by chance for them to be lucky?