plants that look like cannabis

Weed Wannabes – 10 Plants That Look Like Cannabis (But Aren’t)

Imagine this. You’re sitting outside one bright and sunny summer day and you notice a lot of side-eyeing and funny looks from your neighbors. You decide you’re being paranoid and just brush it off. A few days later, the cops show up at your door. What’s the matter? They ask to see your plant that you have visible from your front window, backyard or balcony… to your surprise, they think it’s a weed plant. You’re perplexed, but have no problem showing them your spider flower house plant and having a good laugh in the end. Even though you might feel annoyed with your nosy neighbors, now you know there’s a number of common herbs that look like weed, plants that look like pot, and even trees that look like marijuana. An entire scenario you could have avoided – if only you’d known beforehand. So, let’s brush up on the top 10 plants that resemble marijuana, and why scenarios like this make it important to know.

Why You Should Know What Plants Look Like Marijuana

Even though our introduction is purely fictional, unfortunately for many in non-legalized states, it could easily be a reality. In fact, in 2014, cops raided a home in Georgia for plants that looked like weed but in actuality were just okra plants. We know there’s still a widespread stigma about cannabis growth and use, and this is one primary reason why you should know what plants look like marijuana.

If you’re a cannabis consumer with plants that look like mary jane, you’re almost certainly drawing unwanted attention to yourself, especially if cannabis isn’t legal in the area where you’re consuming or growing. It’s therefore probably best to keep these types of plants away from the public eye.

Low Odor Cannabis

The List Of Plants That Look Like Cannabis

From common trees to herbs and even vegetables, there is a wide range of plants that look like weed. To be in the know and avoid unnecessary trouble, we’ve compiled a list of plants with leaves that look like weed or plants that resemble marijuana in some way.


Cassava is not only similar to cannabis in terms of its medicinal properties, but in appearance as well. The plant has leaves that look like weed and which are also the same vibrant green color. Like with cannabis, the leaves grow off the stem of cassava plants, adding to the resemblance. One last notable similarity is the leaf structure, as cassava has 7 leaflets and is shaped much like the leaves found on an Indica plant.

Medical Cannabis Strains

Hemp Agrimony

Given its name, the fact that this plant looks like pot may not exactly come as a shock. Also known as eupatorium cannabinum, hemp agrimony plants are far from actually being marijuana or hemp. They’re actually a part of the daisy family. Even though they produce eye-catching purplish-pink flowers during bloom, it’s the plant leaves that most look like weed. Hemp agrimony leaves are a rich green color, with pointed tips and spacing that’s similar to a Sativa plant.

Sativa-dominant strains

Chaste Tree

At full maturity, a chaste tree isn’t really a tree that looks like weed. It’s when the chaste tree is immature and growing that it most resembles mary jane. During this phase, each stem puts out five to six leaves just like a cannabis or hemp plant would. The tree’s leaves are also serrated like marijuana leaves and grow to a similar length and shape.

Texas Star

The leaves of the Texas star hibiscus plant tend to look more like weed than any other plants on this list. At first glance, it’s definitely hard to decipher if it’s a cannabis plant or not. That’s because Texas star leaves are bright green and textured just like marijuana leaves are, and with the same type of edges. Luckily, once mature, the plant blooms in bright reds and whites to detract from the similarities.

Japanese Maple

Japanese maple trees come in a number of varieties. A few of these varieties certainly resemble marijuana. Each different Japanese maple differs in leaf color and shape, but when growing, the plant puts out green leaves that look much like weed leaves do. They have 7 points and can easily trick the eye into thinking it’s marijuana.

Small Plants

Spider Flower

Spider flower, or cleome plants, often get mistaken for Indica-dominant cannabis plants. Like marijuana leaves, spider flower plants grow wide leaflets that begin smaller near the stem. When growing outdoors, the plants also reach about 5 feet in height – another trait similar to many cannabis strains. Fortunately, these plants that initially look like weed eventually bloom with vibrant purple and white flowers.

Outdoor Cannabis Seeds

Coral Plant

When talking about what plants look like marijuana, you can’t avoid the coral plant. The long and lengthy leaflets look very similar to Sativa cannabis varieties from afar. Even the cut of the leaves resembles that of weed leaves. Upon closer look, the texture of the coral plant leaves is what gives it away, as they have a shiny sheen to them that marijuana leaves lack. Eventually, coral plants do flower, which further detracts from the similarities.


Kenaf (not to be confused with kief) is as close to cannabis in appearance as it is by title. The kenaf plant is also known as hibiscus cannabinus, adding to the confusion. The leaves that look like weed share the distinct star pattern, texture and lines. Kenaf plants also put out leaves from the stem in bunches of six or seven, adding to the similarities.

As we mentioned earlier, okra has actually been confused for cannabis by police enforcement before. Hopefully, this mainstream story helps the general population now identify the differences. This vegetable, more so than others on the list, is a plant that resembles weed buds – like cannabis nugs, okra also emerges from buds found near the stem of the plant. Other than that, the leaf color is similar but often wider than marijuana leaves.

Tagetes Minuta

Last but not least is the tagetes minuta plant, which just so happens to share not only medicinal qualities with cannabis but also similarities in appearance. Among the plants that resemble marijuana, tagetes minuta grows most similar in size and height. It also has leaves that look like weed leaves, which are serrated, long and sharp-edged.

Prepared For Plant Confusion?

Just because you may know the difference between house plants that look like pot and actual cannabis plants doesn’t mean that everyone else will. However, now that you know the common plants that develop weed-like leaves and what plants look like marijuana the most, you can avoid having them in the spotlight at your home. With this information, you can be prepared and avoid plant confusion from nosy neighbors, judgmental company, or in the worst-case scenario, law enforcement.

Herbies Head Shop expressly refuses to support the use, production, or supply of illegal substances. For more details read our Legal Disclaimer.

From common trees to herbs and even vegetables, there is a wide range of plants that look like weed. To be in the know and avoid unnecessary trouble, we’ve compiled a list of plants with leaves that look like weed or plants that resemble marijuana in some way

11 Plants That Look Like Weed But Are Entirely Legal (With Pictures)

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Here is more about our approach .

Experienced gardeners know about the plants they are growing. They understand how the plant looks like when growing or fully grown.

But sometimes beginner gardeners often get confused with the plants that look like weed but isn’t a weed.

This happens so often that you may imagine that law enforcement may not get confused about plants’ similarity with other weed-like plants.

Let’s look at 11 plants that often get mistaken to be weeds.

1. Japanese Maple

Japanese maples are plants that look like a weed. You can grow it in a container or outside in the garden. It comes in several different varieties with different styles of leaf shape and color.

When the plant is still at a growing stage and has green leaves, it looks like Cannabis. This cannabis look-alike plant grows in Japan, Korea, and central China.

2. Coral Plant

The Coral plant is also known as Jathroha Multifida and has leaves that look very similar to weeds. Many people get confused with the texture and style of its leaves, which has sharp cuts and more extended sizes.

This is a tropical plant and grown primarily for its leaves and red flower bunch. This plant looks so similar to wild weed that some dealers try to sell it as a real weed to unknown marijuana users.

It’s mainly found in Mexico and Central America as the weather is more tropical at those places.

3. Okra

Okra is another plant that looks like a weed, especially its buds look very similar to weed buds. In fact, this has such a similarity with the illegal pot that cops in Cartersville mistook it to be weed and arrested a man who had grown Okra in his garden.

In reality, the Okra is an edible plant that is usually grown in warm and tropical climates such as in South Africa and Asia. Many southeast Indian cuisines use Okra in several of their dishes.

If you mistook Okra to be Cannabis and eat it, then don’t worry, as it has lots of nutrients which is right for your body.

4. Cranberry Hibiscus

Cranberry Hibiscus has a Latin name of Hibiscus Acetosella and is also known as African Rosemallow. It has large colorful leaves that look like cannabis leaves.

Once fully grown, the leaves turn out to be broader and look like a Maple leaf, but it can be easily mistaken for cannabis leaves when the plant is still growing.

Due to its high similarity with the marijuana plants, people like to plant it in either container or indoors when it’s small. After it has started blooming, the flower and leaves look quite different than weeds plants.

You can use the flowers and leaves of the Cranberry Hibiscus with salads or other dishes or use them as a natural food color.

The plant looks like a weed, but it has no THC, you won’t get high after consuming it.

5. Cassava

Cassava is mainly known for its medicinal properties of the roots. The roots are quite poisonous if you eat raw. To eat it, you have to cook it properly, which removes the harmful hydrocyanic acid from the root.

The leaves of Cassava look like marijuana as it has light greenish color leaves like Cannabis. The leaves are directly attached to the stem and are grown in the bunch.

However, its similarity to the weed ends there. It’s grown for the starch and used for human and industrial consumption.

6. Sweetfern

Sweetfern is a primarily invasive weed, which grows in the yards and garden. It’s part of the bayberry family and native to eastern Canada and the U.S.

Its fern-like leaves give the appearance of marijuana leaves, but it’s quite aromatic when rubbed. These smells feel similar to smokable pots that make people get confused as they think that it’s some different variety of Cannabis.

The leaves grow in multiple bunches from a single stem. As the plant grows further, the leaves spread out. It’s entirely legal to grow sweetfern wherever you want.

Although the plant looks like a weed, in reality, it’s just another herbal plant.

7. Cleome

Cleome may not look like a wild weed plant when its flowered with bright red and purple color flowers. But while growing up, it gives the appearance of weeds. The leaves are long and spikey similar to a pot.

The Cleome flower is also known as spider flower due to its long tentacles stretching from the flower stem. It typically blooms in summer and lasts till the frost starts.

You can plant Cleome as an edible plant. It also attracts beneficial insects in the garden.

8. Texas Star Hibiscus

Texas Star Hibiscus is a slender, multi-branched plant that has leaves grown like Cannabis. The bright green color leaves don’t have very sharp pointy edges, but its long thin textured leaves create the illusion of a cannabis plant.

For people familiar with the pot or have experience growing it, they won’t consider the Texas Star Hibiscus plant to look like weed. Still, for casual users, they may indeed get confused.

When fully grown, it blooms crimson red or white color floor, but at the growing stage, it resembles more to the pot plant.

As the name suggests, the natural growing area of this plant is in Texas with flower blooming time from June to October. This is a very versatile plant and can be grown in moist and well-drained soil. It needs full sunlight to flourish and are perennial in nature.

9. Kenaf

Kenaf is known as Hibiscus Cannabinus in the scientific community. It’s grown primarily for food and fiber. But these plants resemble so much like a weed that your home visitors may think that you are into some bad company.

Like other commonly mistaken plants that look like weed, Kenaf has considerable similarity to Cannabis plants. This similar characteristic comes from the texture and leaf size of the plant.

It has star-shaped leaves with serrated edges. A stem may have a collective bunch of 7 blades that look similar to marijuana plant leaves.

In fact, this plant looks so similar to Cannabis that its scientific name has Cannabis terminology in it.

Just be careful when growing Kenaf in your home as you don’t want your concerned neighbour to call the police and report you to have illegal grow up.

10. Tagetes Minuta

Tagetes Minuta is also commonly known as Muster-John-Henry. It grows up to 1.2 m in length and 0.6 m in width, similar to cannabis plants.

The leaves are long, elongated, and finely serrated resemble the pot leaves. When the leaves are rubbed, it smells like a licorices.

With fully-grown stems, the plant blooms white and yellowish flowers, which gives the telltale sign that it’s not a weed plant. But when it’s small and growing, the plant looks like very much a weed plant.

The Tagetes Minuta is a native to South America, but it’s also commonly grown in other parts of the world. The plant has several medicinal properties as it found to be invasive and effective in controlling fungi, bacteria, and roundworms.

11. Chaste Tree

The Chaste Tree, when fully grown, does not look like a wild weed. But when it’s still small and growing up, the plant looks very similar to a pot. The leaves are long and serrated like Cannabis, and each stem contains 5 to 6 leaves like hemp or other cannabis leaves.

When fully grown, it doesn’t look like shrub anymore and becomes easy to know that this is not a weed plant. But at the initial stage, the plant has a very high resemblance to the weed.

Overall, the plant grows 8 to 12 feet tall and wide. The leaves are quite aromatic, and the plant bears the violet color flowers. The flower grows like a lavender, which, when bloomed, attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects in the garden.

You should regularly prune the chaste tree plants as if left unchecked it can grow up to 15 to 20 feet tall. The pruning shears helps with shaping and adequately sizing the plant.

About Plants That Look Like Weed: Final Thought

Although marijuana plants are becoming legal in most parts of the world, such as in Canada and some parts of the U.S, it’s still widely considered to be illegal in most of the places.

The cannabis plants have a distinct look, and the hallmark of their appearance is the leaf. The long serrated and pointed leaves give the telltale sign that it’s a marijuana plant.

Many companies also use pot leaves distinct looks like a representation of hemp. This creates confusion for people who are not actually familiar with the marijuana plant. They often mistakenly assume plants with similar leave to be a pot plant.

In some cases, it may cause inconvenience to the planter as the law enforcement gets involved in investigating if you are doing illegal grow up.

Knowing the plants that look like weed gives you some caution before planting or explaining it to your suspicious neighbour before they dial law enforcement to report about you wrongly.

11 Plants That Look Like Weed But Are Entirely Legal (With Pictures) About GearTrench GearTrench is here to share about gardening and home decoration tips to those that want to have a lush ]]>