List of 16 Plants That Look Like Weed With Their Properties

Many people value marijuana or weed for their therapeutic purposes. These plants simply grow in some areas, but growing marijuana and weed is illegal in maximum states. There are a few plants that look like weed or have a few similarities with weed in terms of smell, texture, and look. This is the reason why many people become stressed if they notice a plant growing in their property that looks like weed.

Fortunately, many plants look like weed so don’t get scared when you see such kind of plant in your backyard or any property that you own. Check if the plant is actually a weed plant or not.

People who are fond of growing plants might face a situation where they witness similar looking plants. You will get in trouble if you grow plants that look like weed. Therefore, we have organized a list of plants that look like weed to save you from the confusion.


1. Scarlet Hibiscus/Rose Mallow

Rose Mallow

This plant is found in Florida and Texas. Some people get excited when they see Rose Mallow as it is a replica of weed. The Latin name of Scarlet Hibiscus is ‘Hibiscus Coccineus.’ Scarlet hibiscus plants are easy to grow and their flowers attract hummingbirds. The leaves of this plant look like marijuana.

However, Scarlet Hibiscus doesn’t produce a smell when it is crushed, while weed plants have a specific smell. Other than the smell, the looks of Rose Mallow are exactly like weed. So, don’t get confused and watch out for these types of plants. If you want to grow this plant at your home, take good care to ensure the healthy growth of the plant. You need to provide proper sun exposure and the right type of soil to grow this plant. The most important tip is to plant it near rain gardens.

2. Mint

Mint and cannabis are directly related to each other. It is advisable not to grow them together. Mints hog the soil and don’t grow properly with other plants. It is a type of an invasive species. There are multiple types of mint, such as shiny, fragrant, smooth, bright green, and many others.


But, there are a few people who have successfully cultivated mint and cannabis plants together. If you’re keen on trying this, always keep a check that mint plants do not take up the entire space and crowd out your weed plants. Mint plants have a growth pattern, which is similar to weed. They grow into a bush-like structure. Other than that, mint plants have an extreme fragrance. To grow mint, very little care is required. You just need to make sure that they get the necessary nutrition to thrive and grow.

3. Sunn Hemp

Sunn Hemp

Sunn hemp has increased in popularity since the last few years. It is commonly referred to as Hemp. This plant does not belong to the family of cannabis plants. Sunn Hemp plants are tall and they have an appearance like cannabis. It is native to Tropical Asia.

Sunn Hemp is commonly called as Indian hemp, Madras Hemp, and Brown Hemp. This plant is simple to grow, provided that you follow the basic instructions. This plant can grow up to around 6-7 feet within 62 days. Cattles start grazing Sunn Hemp usually after 45 days after planting it.

Sunn Hemp plants have yellow, long, and beautiful flowers. These plants are natural sources of fiber. Sunn Hemp plants help to produce multiple types of textiles. They can also be used as a bio-fuel.

4. Sweetfern

This plant is found in regions of North America. Though its name is Sweetfern, it doesn’t fall under the category of ferns. It is a type of deciduous shrub, which smells like weed plants. Sweetfern grows up to 1m in height. You can use the leaves to make tea and use dried leaves as a spice in food. It is advisable not to grow them in clay soils but sandy soil. The growth of this plant is slow so have some patience.


Sweetfern is mostly known for its extremely strong odor. But this plant has many uses, such as repelling mosquitoes, medical inhalants, and an anti-itch carrier. A fun fact about Sweetfern plant is that it is edible and can be used in foods to add some flavors. Sweetfern possesses medicinal properties as well. It helps in clearing lymph, skin, and blood.

5. Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage is a big and well-known plant, which smells and looks like weed. It is usually grown in swamp wetlands and its smell stinks. Skunk Cabbage is planted in gardens to keep away squirrels, raccoons, and insects. They are generally the first plants to grow in the spring season.

If you live in a region where the cultivation of weed is illegal but you still want a similar looking plant in your garden, go for Skunk Cabbage. This plant will provide a pleasant, weed-like smell.

Animals do not eat this plant as it creates a burning sensation in them. A few Americans used Skunk cabbage as a medicine to cure headaches and coughs.

6. Cranberry Hibiscus

If you’re not so good at distinguishing cannabis plants, you are most likely to confuse between cranberry hibiscus burgundy and pink blooms for weed plants. Cranberry hibiscus owns the rare combination of utility, edibility, and beauty. These plants can grow up to a height of around 5-6 feet. You can plant more than two trees together to create a bush.

Cranberry Hibiscus

Both, cranberry hibiscus and weed produce leaves, which have a formation of a star and pointy edges. The only difference between them is the color. If you’re looking forward to growing weed-like plants other than the actual weed, then opt for cranberry hibiscus.

7. Moss Phlox

Moss Phlox

If we’re discussing plants that look like weed, moss phlox is necessary to mention. Moss phlox blooms during spring in pink color. It smells extremely like cannabis. Moss phlox is easy to grow and they require minimal maintenance. These plants are available in multiple types. You can purchase the seeds and grow them according to your will.

Once a couple in UK got into law trouble as their garden area smelled like weed. Many people went to them to ask if they’re growing weed in their garden. But the truth was, the plant that was giving this smell was moss phlox.

8. Bindii

Bindii is commonly referred to as ‘Soliva sessilis.’This plant looks like weed and it is exactly weed. It is not considered good to grow them in your gardening area. If Bindii plant grows unknowingly, you can remove it by mowing the nearby grass or by using herbicides. The stems of this plant are green and a little hairy.


The Bindii plant is usually found in South America. However, it is now available everywhere across the globe. Bindii has minute pointy needle seeds, which look a little like parsley.

9. The Japanese maple

Japanese Maple

It is also called, ‘Acer palmatum.’ The Japanese maple is confused with weed because of its growth. It begins its journey as a little plant and eventually turns into a tree whose leaves resemble marijuana leaves.

Japanese maple doesn’t look the same always; it depends on the region of their growth. If they are cultivated in Asia, they have green leaves while in North America, their leaves vary from red to purple color. Japanese maple tends to change the color of their leaves at the time of the autumn season.

10. The Spider Flower

The Spider flower is formally called ‘Cleomes.’ They are quite similar to weed. Spider flower produces leaves that are almost like a weed plant. They grow into a formation like a star with slightly sharp and pointy leaves. Cleomes do not bloom until they are well-settled in the garden area. It can grow up to 5 feet. Spider flower has different colors, such as lavender, rose, pink, and white.

Spider Flower

Spider flower grows tall and they have a very powerful odor. Usually, you will not find their smell similar to weed but they have a powerful smell that keeps pests away.

11. Cassava and Okra

Cassava And Okra

It may sound crazy but if you look at cassava and okra from a long distance, they look quite similar to weed. Once in 2014, a few cops in helicopters in Georgia gunned in on a garden of a man because the cops thought he was illegally cultivating cannabis.

Many people grow cassava and okra in their gardens for food purposes. You can boil, chop, and grate the plant to make a delicacy, such as cassava cake.

Both of these plants are leafy and green, which is the reason they are expected to be marijuana. If you want to differentiate between the two, count how many leaves are present in both. The cassava has 3 leaves, okra has about 5 leaves, and cannabis can grow up to 7-9 leaves. Cassava plants can bear tubers, while okra produces ladyfingers.

12. The Texas Star

Texas star is often compared with weed because of its extreme resemblance. Many people would have seen this plant because it is grown quite often by people. The looks of this plant make it distinct from other plants.

The Texas Star

It is mostly found in Asia and it looks beautiful. If you see Texas star from a distance, you can’t identify if its marijuana or Texas star. However, as the plant grows, it starts looking like a beautiful scarlet-color flower, which is in the shape of a star. If grown in a bunch, this plant surpasses its aesthetics leaving marijuana behind.

13. The Kenaf

Deccan hemp

Another addition to this list is Kenaf plant. It is a well-known plant, which is also known as the Deccan hemp. Many people across the globe use this plant for the oil it produces, while others use it to make bags. The fiber produced by this plant is said to be one of the strongest found on Earth.

When it comes to comparing it with weed, they both have a similar appearance that can puzzle some people. If they are grown in a bunch, it will certainly confuse a few people for marijuana. Kenaf grows tall that makes people to think that it is cannabis.

14. Mexican Chaste

Mexican chaste is a native plant of central Asia and southern Europe. The leaves of Mexican chaste trees look very similar to weed plants. However, Mexican chaste trees leaves are smooth whereas, weed leaves are pointy. Bees love to feed on this plant so take good care of the plant to avoid any damage.

Vitex agnus castus

Mexican chaste has a few medicinal properties similar to weed. If you use it correctly, they can be an organic hormone balancer and helps in reducing menstrual cramps. There are chances of people suspecting you of growing cannabis in your property if they are unaware of the chaste trees. A tip to all the readers, this plant may look like weed but do not try to smoke it.

15. Castor Bean

Castor Bean tree

Castor bean or Castor oil is popularly known as ‘Ricinus communis.’ This plant was originally found in Africa but it has now spread across tropical and sub-tropical regions. It has many medicinal properties and various applications. Castor oil is used as a motor lubricant. Necklaces and bracelets are made up of castor beans. To sum it all, there are multiple uses of this plant.

Their leaves form a star-like appearance, similar to the weed plant. Also, the color of the castor bean plant is usually green and grayish, which makes it more similar to weed. Therefore, castor bean plants might confuse a person for weed.

16. Chrysanthemum

This plant is also known as chrysanths or mums. They are generally found in north-east Europe and Asia. Chrysanthemum is said to be effective in reducing air pollution indoors. These plants bloom in a variety of colors, such as white, yellow, and red.


The leaves of this plant resemble weed. The chrysanthemum leaves are green in color, almost like weed plants. This plant is likely to confuse people if the flower is not bloomed yet. Once the chrysanthemum starts bearing flowers, their resemblance is not at all like weed plants. But if you look at them at an early growth phase, you might be shocked to see some similarities of this plant with the weed plant.

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We hope that you won’t be confused about figuring out plants that look like weed. The 16 plants that are mentioned in the article may resemble a lot like weed due to their smell or appearance. But these are quite different from weed. Not every plant possesses medicinal properties like marijuana. So, before you make any judgment about any plant, make sure to look at its properties to avoid confusion.

Have you ever come across any plant that looked like weed to you? Do let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear your stories.

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