Step 1: Background: The Clover
Step 2: Patterns, Patterns, Patterns
Do not get on your hands and knees with magnifying glass in hand, individually examining each clover. From standing height, look over the entire patch, brushing the clover with your foot to ensure none remain unexposed. If you enjoy math problems, eye-spys, the game "SET", or any pattern game in general, you'll be in your element. Amongst all the sets of 3 leaflets, any mutation will stick out like a sore thumb.
Step 3: Statistically Speaking...
Mutant clovers are also more prevalent later in summer than they are in spring, and some places just seem more environmentally favorable to produce mutants.
Step 4: The Shamrock
The Classic 4-leaf clover has, well, 4 leaflets. Most mutants have three leaf stems in which one has split into two leaves, one usally smaller than the other. These types are probably produced by evironmental factors more than genetic factors (not that genes don't play a part). Clovers with 4 leaflets, evenly shaped, and 4 seperate leaflet stems are, from my experience, rarer, and probably strongly genetically influenced.
Note: There are a few companies that have tried to breed 4-leaf clovers to sell for their alleged lucky properties. Due to the complications between environmental and genetic influence, these breeds are tough to produce, and only marginally effective, or so i've read. heres one of these companies.
Step 5: 4 + n Clover
Step 6: 3.5 leaf clovers, color variants, and "spades"
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...
Step 7: The Elusive 2-leaf Clover
Step 8: Collecting and Displaying
For mounting, I used a poster-sized picture frame (~$10) and the back of the promotional poster that came in it. I glued my dried, pressed clovers using a dab of elmers glue. Try to keep the mount as air tight as possible, as the clover's will loose their color over time.
Last summer i put this skill to the test: i found 166 4-leaf clovers, 11 5-leaf, and 2 3.5 leafs. After mounting these, i found one patch while mowing the lawn containing multiple 7 and 8 leaf clovers, as well as a 10 leaf.
All of the clovers pictured in this instructable were found in about 20 minutes of searching. They're out there, in many mutant combinations, so get looking and get lucky!