Friday, February 4, 2011

The Lucky Fern!

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

Luck, anyone? It is probably what most people are wishing for this new year. If I was Irish, I would go look for clovers or shamrock, if the specimen is genetically mutated that is. The plant has long been associated with immense luck in that part of the world. Clover or Oxalis sp. are naturally three-leaved. To find a rare one having four leaves is said to be lucky and would give good luck to anyone who finds one. When I was very young I have tried looking for hours for a four-leafed clover in a garden in Tagaytay. It ended in vain. So believe me it is indeed very hard to find this very lucky clover.

But people in the Philippine countryside would need not to look very hard to find a four-leaved plant looking like the four-leaved clover. Marsilea crenata or the four leaved clover fern is a native species, found growing in wet soil along rice paddies, shallow streams and ditches. Most who would skim through a patch would not have difficulty locating one with four leaves, as he would find almost every one of them having four. If only the Irish people knew how lucky we are Filipinos to have this plant in our backyards. But most Pinoys do not even know what Marsilea crenata is. We look for more tangible personal luck rather than our luck of having unique natural resources right on our doorsteps.

1 comment:

metscaper said...

Sir George Yao sent me this message: 'Although Oxalis has sometimes been associated with the four-leafed clover, it is usually Trifolium spp. that are the ones identified with the four-leafed clover.' Wikipedia states that originally it is Trifolium repens that is regarded as shamrock or three leaved white clover but eventually lesser clovers were considered shamrock including what we know as Oxalis here in the Philippines. It also states that shamrock is originally 'an Irish Christian symbol' which eventually became obscured with the luck concept of four leaf clover.