Instructables

Step 6: 3.5 leaf clovers, color variants, and "spades"

Some clovers (not very exciting, but pretty rare) have a mitten shaped leaflet due to conjoined leaves. You can tell they are conjoined by looking under the leaflet and noticing that it contains two stems (see below). Even rarer: sometimes part of conjoined leaf breaks off, with a little leaf sticking like a "thumb" off the mitten (sorry, no pic)

Some clovers will also have a "rust color". This is probably due to an inability of this clover to produce green chlorophyll in the leaflets, showing the less dominant red, yellow, or brown hues, much like how leaves turn colors in fall. Unlike deciduous plants, however, I've noticed this discoloration through out the year.

"Spade Leafed" clovers are a mystery to me. These clovers exhibit a strage shape of each leaf which reminds me of the shape of a spade. At first i thought it was due to insects, but the pattern is too perfect and insects too hungry to always produce this shape. Must be a mutant!(?) Weird...
 
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jpage92 years ago
i found 1 four leaf clover the other day at school, i was really excited! but it was small and ugly :( i didnt think to look around it for another, hmm maybe i will go back to that spot :)
cx420ns4 years ago
the rust color may be caused by various diseases, fungi, and nutrient deficiencies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_%28fungus%29

57cadillac5 years ago
All my friends say I'm the best clover finder. I have almost 30. Something in our schoolyard makes the clovers mutate. Nearby, there is a tree where picked up a four leaf clover where the fourth leaf splits into another leaf with a vein under it. My friend and I also picked up a giant four and five leaf clover from there.
imagine a spade leafed clover with 4 leaves!
poseurlol5 years ago
Great article and pics! I have this "gift" as well, and I've found several fives and a few sixes. But a cool find of mine -- http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/829/2000seven.jpg -- is a conjoined three- and four-leaf clover, as far as I know, unless it's just a similar-looking plant.
I have seen a similar plant where there was a big patch of them with 6 7 or 8 leaves on them.
austinblan6 years ago
it sounds like these clovers are very seceptible to alteration by genetic and enviromental factors. They cold be used in medicine to classify the genetic ricks of biotic and abiotic pharmaceuticals.
jeff7 years ago
With reference to the third image of step 6 - The seasonally associated red color in leaves of deciduous plants isn't from a lack of a particular sugar - it typically happens when chlorophyll is selectively draw back into the plant (it's too valuable a molecule for the plants to lose it all each winter). The red and yellow color is from compounds that have been there all along, but were 'masked' by the green chlorophyll. When you see red markings like this on an annual like clover, it's often an indication of viral disease that has selectively destroyed the chlorophyll in that part of the leaf. (btw the bug damage i mentioned in the comment below refers to the 4th image of step 6).
jeff7 years ago
Actually, that is bug damage. When the leaf bud is still "unfurled", something came along and took a bite out of the side of it. When the leaves separated and grew, that pattern appeared. Like a plant version of a fold-up paper snowflake. You see this on other plants with similar growing habits from time to time.
brainiac7 years ago
i found a six and a five leaf clover the five leaf had a ten leaves conjoined!!