What causes those lucky clover? Are they actually pretty lucky? (In a science sort of way)

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What causes those lucky clover? Are they actually pretty lucky? (In a science sort of way)

In: Biology

The fourth leaf is the result of a mutation in the plant. I guess the luck myth simply comes from the fact that it is a rare occurrence, something that you must be “lucky” to find.

If anything, for the plant, it’s probably unlucky.

The 4th clover is a random mutation. We all generally have small mutations due to irregularities in the code that makes us grow, but those “mutations” can become permanent if they are consistent enough in offspring. If I have brown hair, and you have brown hair, our kids will probably have brown hair.

Well, since a 4-leaf clover is more likely to get plucked, the plant is less likely to survive vs. other plants that were ignored, and so the mutation is increasingly less likely to be found in the following generation.

It’s not much different than if a human had a “lucky” mutation that made them more easily killed by a parasite.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, because of this, 4-leaved clovers have become rarer over time (unless someone managed to crossbreed a plant that was capable of producing them more consistently).

They are caused by either a mutation or a recessive gene. Its estimated to be around 10,000 3-leaf clovers for every 4-leaf. Its also possible that the surrounding environment could play some part in the development of 4-leafs (soil quality, ph, etc.). However, if you find a 4-leaf clover, your chances of finding more in the surrounding area is higher since they may be coming from the same plant or closely related ones that share the gene/mutation.

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