Is there some time or place where the clubs card suit is called "flowers" in English?

This is their usual name in such languages as Italian ("fiori"), but has it ever been the case in English? I have found a mention of a "Jack of Flowers", but I suspect it to be spurious.

  • 1
    It's likely a bad case of false friendship. – badp Jul 24 '11 at 9:58
  • I think so too, even more so since it appears in an Italian novel, as said by an English-speaking character. But I'd rather be sure it is not an unusual or regional legitimate form. – DaG Jul 24 '11 at 16:36
  • In Portuguese it's "paus" (woods) or it could also be "árvores" (tree) – Juan Mendes Sep 23 '15 at 19:44

The word is actually, clover.

Cards with the clover shape are what are called the Clubs. See Why Is “Clubs” In a Suit of Cards In the Shape of a Black Clover and Where Did It Come From?

On the other hand, Hanafuda (花札?) are playing cards of Japanese origin that are used to play a number of games. The name literally translates as "flower cards."


It's called clubs in English. The others are hearts, diamonds and spades.


The OED reports:

II In cards.

8 pl. The cards forming one of the four suits, distinguished by the conventional representation of a trefoil leaf in black; in sing. a club-card, a card of this suit.

[A translation of the Spanish name basto, or It. bastone (see basto, baston), the ‘club’ figured on Spanish cards. The current English figure is taken from the French, where the name is trèfle, trefoil.]

So, although the symbol comes from French cards, where it represents a trefoil (although wrongly recognized as a flower in Italian), the name comes from the equivalent in Italian/Spanish cards.

  • I knew that (and it's "hearts", not "earths"). But do you know about possible variant names such as the one I asked about? – DaG Jul 24 '11 at 9:50
  • @DaG: ahahahah, earths... sorry I still have to wake up! :D Never heard of flowers anyway – nico Jul 24 '11 at 9:56
  • @DaG: I added an (hopefully) interesting explanation from the OED. – nico Jul 24 '11 at 10:03

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