Clovers are among the most popular plants for lawn covers, and their charm is often limited to the backyard. But trust me; there’s more to these plants than meets the eye!
These wildflowers hold several symbolisms and cultural significance that make them a unique gifting choice. From being lucky charms to soulmate finders, these flowers can surprisingly help you send secret messages to your loved ones.
In this article, we’ll delve into the different meanings of clover flowers, their cultural significance, and their uses.
How did the clover flower get its name?
The name clover is believed to be derived from the West Germanic word klawaz, which directly translates to “sticky pap.” The reason behind this name is that clover flowers are known to release sticky juice.
Its scientific name, Trifolium, is a combination of the Latin words tres and folium. Its direct translation is “three leaves,” which is the perfect name for the flower’s prominent three-lobed leaves.
What is the botanical origin of the clover flower?
Clover flowers are native to Europe, but they can now be found across the Northern Hemisphere. Some species have also started to grow in the mountainous regions of South America and Africa.
Currently, the Trifolium genus has over 300 different species. Among the most popular are Trifolium repens or white clover, Trifolium pratense or red clover, Trifolium fragiferum or strawberry clover, and Trifolium campestre or low hop clover.
Clover Care Guide
Where do clover flowers grow?
Clovers grow mostly in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. However, you’ll rarely find them naturally growing in Southeast Asia and Australia.
Do clovers require a lot of maintenance?
Clovers are relatively low-maintenance. This is one of the reasons why many homeowners love growing them in their lawn.
Do clovers need shade or sun?
Clovers generally prefer full sun, so it’s best to leave them in areas that receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. That said, some species have their own light requirements and may thrive best in partial shade.
When do clover flowers bloom?
Clover flowers generally from mid-spring through early summer. However, some species of the flower, like the yellow sweet clover, bloom in late spring to late summer.
The blooming period may vary per region depending on the weather and the species of the clover flower.
What kind of soil do clover flowers prefer?
Clover flowers prefer well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. A pH level of 6 to 7 also works best for the flowers.
When is the best time to plant clover flowers?
The best time to plant clovers is in spring when the soil has already warmed up.
What do clover flowers mean?
Clover flowers hold several meanings, including love, romance, marriage, faithfulness, luck, fortune, success, and protection.
Clover flowers have long been associated with romance and love. Several folktales and superstitions associate clovers with finding soulmates and future partners.
One common superstition that’s widely spread throughout Europe is that the first man to walk through a door with a four-leaf clover will be the husband of the girl who put it in the door.
Clovers are also often associated with happy marriages and faithfulness between couples.
Luck and Fortune
Clovers, especially four-leaf clovers, are one of the most widely used symbols of luck around the world.
Since four-leaf clovers are rare, many believe that accidentally finding one means the universe is blessing you with good fortune and success.
Clovers are also often used to represent protection. Some religions, like Druidism, believe that flowers have the ability to protect people from evil spirits.
Clovers are also said to drive bad luck away, protecting the holder from any possible accidents that come their way.
What do the colors of clover flowers mean?
|White||White clovers symbolize protection, prosperity, happiness, good luck, masculinity, and happy marriage.
Additionally, giving a white clover to someone could either mean you’re thinking about them or you promise eternal love.
Recommended Use: White clovers can be used as the primary flowers for the crowns of the bride and flower girls. They can symbolize your hope for a long and happy marriage.
|Red||Red clovers are often associated with money, success, blessing, exorcism, love, and faithfulness.
Giving someone a red clover means you’re promising your faithfulness and loyalty to them.
Recommended Use: A mixed flower bouquet with a clover flower is a great anniversary or engagement gift for your partner. It will symbolize your promise of loving only them.
What are the cultural associations of the clover flower?
|Quebecois||In Quebec, there’s a superstition that says clover can help you find your soulmate. It’s believed that the first man you meet after putting a four-leaf clover in your shoes has the same name as your future partner.|
|French||French people believe that clover flowers are god’s creation and are protected by god’s grace.
In one of their tales, the devil tried to destroy a clover using a dodder plant, but he failed, as it’s a plant made by god.
|Irish||In Ireland, a three-leaf clover, commonly known as shamrock, is one of the most popular symbols. It’s closely associated with the country’s patron saint, St. Patrick.
During St. Patrick’s Day, three-leaf clovers are widely used as decorations around the country.
|Welsh||Welsh people believe that a two-leaf clover can show your lover your dream. This is why many of those who come across one often put it under their pillow, hoping their future lover will visit them in their dreams.|
|Cornish||In a Cornish legend, there was a young milkmaid who had to carry a heavy bucket of milk on her head. To make it easier, she put some grass and a lucky four-leaf clover on her head.
When she placed the four-leaf clover, she had a magical experience. She saw hundreds of fairies, elves, and tiny creatures all around her.
As such, clovers are often associated with protection and fairies. Some believe that the flower can help fight off evil creatures.
What are the spiritual or religious meanings of the clover flower?
|Celtic Paganism||In Paganism, the Celtic Triskelion, an ancient motif with three spirals, is designed after three-leaf clovers.
The motif holds various symbolism, including the cycle of life (birth, death, and rebirth), the three domains of the world (land, sea, and sky), and the three worlds (celestial, physical, and spiritual).
|Druidism||Druids believe that the clover protects them from evil spirits.
According to their priests, clovers help them see evil spirits, so they’re able to protect themselves and everyone around them.
|Wicca||To Wiccan people, four-leaf clovers are symbols of good luck and prosperity. It’s believed that if you come across one, it’ll bring you luck and happiness.
This is primarily because they believe that four-leaf clovers only grow in places the fairies have already visited.
Clovers are also used in witch spells that are connected to love and wealth.
|Christianity||In Christianity, it’s believed that three-leaf clovers symbolize the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
It’s believed that St. Patrick used the three-leafed clover to teach the Irish people the concept of the Holy Trinity.
Many also believed that Eve was holding a four-leaf clover when she and Adam were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. The extra leaf is said to symbolize God’s grace for them.
Some Christians believe that if you find a four-leaf clover, you’re destined to have a happy life.
What are the uses of the clover flower?
One of the most common uses of clover flowers in medicine is to relieve symptoms of menopause.
Several medical research papers have shown that clovers, specifically red clovers, contain phytoestrogen, which is helpful in balancing female hormones and managing symptoms of menopause.
Red clovers were also widely used in healing skin problems in the past. Some common skin problems that red clovers can treat include burns, insect bites, and fungal infections.
Aside from these, red clovers are also known to help strengthen bones, cure bronchitis, and treat colds.
Clovers are fast-growing plants, making them ideal for ground cover. They can help suppress weed growth by crowding out unwanted plants, thus reducing the need for manual weeding.
Using them as ground cover can also help reduce erosion since their roots can hold soil particles together to create a more stable structure. They also serve as shields from rainfall, protecting the soil from getting too moist.
Since clovers are legumes, they have the ability to transform nitrogen from air to soil nutrients. This helps the soil become more nutrient-rich, which is beneficial for the other flowers and plants in the garden.