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Four leaf clovers hold the luck of the Irish. If you find a four leaf clover legend has it that good luck will soon follow. Another Irish story suggests holding a four leaf clover if you wish to see the little people. We all could use a little luck, but how does one find a four leaf clover?

Some snide folks may tell you to count all the leaves in a clover patch and divide by three. If there is a remainder then look in that patch! The method described here has been passed down through generations. The secret is in the looking.

Four leaf clovers are often glimpsed from the corner the eye rather than found by painstakingly combing through every patch. Focus your eyes on a distant point then begin your hunt by glancing around you. Because four leaf clovers are mutants from the regular crop they are generally a slight shade lighter or darker than the surrounding clovers. If you find one four leaf clover usually its "mate" is hiding someplace nearby. (If you can't find it the elders will tell you someone else found it first!)

Because luck is most needed when we are faced with adversity, four leaf clovers are more likely to be found in less accessible areas with poor soil. As hardship often brings out the best in people, the clover plant responds with four leaf clovers. Your own backyard probably has some less than ideal growing spots full of clover right now!

This method has some basis in science as the four leaf clover is a mutation of the regular three leaf clover. Mutations occur in strains of the plant that tend to grow in the same area and mutations are more common when a plant has to contend with less than ideal growing conditions. Mutations are the expression of less common traits of the plant and frequently more than one trait may be expressed in the same clover, like the slight color difference described above. This method may yield five, or even eight leaf clovers as well. While four leaf clovers can be found on purple field clover plants, white clover plants are the most common source of four leaf clovers.

If you become really desperate several seed companies carry seeds for something they call a four leaf clover plant. True aficionados will tell you that those plants while fun to grow are not real four leaf clovers. The plant isn't the right kind of clover.

Besides... it's cheating... and nobody cheats lady luck!