Plants that Look Like Marijuana…But Aren’t

plants that look like marijauna

The grizzled edges of a marijuana leaf aren’t as unique as you think.

These leaves are often confused with a number of other plants in your garden. In fact, a simple walk to the local park may showcase some of these legal plants in broad daylight!

Here are the main plants that resemble marijuana.

The Top 6 Marijuana Lookalikes

1. Texas Star

the texas star

Image via Wikipedia

This is one of the most common comparisons made by people because of where it’s grown.

The average person will have seen the Texas star in their neighborhood since so many people grow them in their gardens.

If you walk around town, you’ll notice this particular plant standing out from the rest because of how it appears.

A person that’s unaware might assume the old grandparents down the street are growing marijuana in their yard but that’s not the case!

This Asian plant is one-of-a-kind and looks beautiful even with its resemblance to marijuana. From a distance, you can’t even tell the difference. This is why it is one of the first plants that make it onto a list such as this.

However, this is only during the earlier stages of the Texas Star. When it starts blooming, the plants end up changing into an absolutely stunning scarlet-colored flower that’s shaped like a star.

When grown in bunches, the Texas Star is truly a breathtaking display of natural beauty that’s going to leave marijuana behind in terms of aesthetic qualities.

2. Chaste Tree

butterfly on a chaste leaf

The chaste tree is a unique one because it is a well-grown plant that has quite the presence.

While this isn’t as serious as some of the other suggestions, it does look like marijuana when you take away the leaves.

Of course, with the flowers, you get something that is far more complex, refined, and colorful compared to the traditional marijuana that’s grown by professionals.

In this case, the chaste tree tends to have small leaflets that spread from one end to the other.

In this case, you will not be getting high off of a local chaste tree!

It was at one point deemed to be one of the purest plants in all of Asia and was often used by religious leaders as a spiritual cleanser.

3. Spider Flower

This is another neat addition to the list of similar plants with its Southern connections.

The spider flower blooms into a magnificent plant and looks beautiful in its colorful perfection. In its earlier stages, it can have a certain look and feel of marijuana but that’s simply from an aesthetic perspective.

4. Japanese Maple

The Japanese Maple Tree leaves look like pot leaves

The Japanese Maple is synonymous with autumn because of its scintillating colors.

The reason it is confused with marijuana has to do with how it grows. It starts as a small plant but can quietly grow into a diminutive tree with leaves that have a similar feel to marijuana.

Since the Japanese Maple’s leaves look similar, it is often difficult to distinguish between both natural wonders.

Japanese Maple leaves don’t always grow to be the same and certain lobes can vary depending on where it’s grown. For example, Asian versions tend to have a greener set of leaves while something in North America would have more of a reddish and/or purplish hue.

Of course, there are a lot of differences between the two and it’s important to keep an eye out for them. One of those differences would be the diverse sepals/petals that tend to change colors during the autumn.

5. Okra

the leaves of the Okra plant have often been compared to marijuana leaves

Yes, this is another name that has to be added to the list because it’s often mentioned in the same breath as marijuana.

There have been situations where this has duped some of the finest experts in the world.

It gets worse because a lot of people tend to grow okra right at home!

With this particular plant being a home gardening classic, it’s important to know the differences. The reason okra resembles marijuana has to do with the leafy nature of this plant and how its leaves look when grown out.

The only way you are able to tell the difference is by looking at how many leaves are present. For example, cannabis is going to have at least 7-9 leaves while the okra isn’t going to extend past five.

As soon as you go past five, it means you’re dealing with cannabis. This is a simple rule of thumb that’s followed by law enforcement because it can become quite difficult to manage.

6. Kenaf

the kenaf plant

Image via Wikipedia

The final addition to this list would have to be the Deccan hemp or “Kenaf” because it’s a well-renowned plant.

While most of the world uses this plant for its oil, it has also been helpful over the years for making bags. The fiber that comes from this plant is some of the strongest on the planet making it a useful resource on its own.

However, when it comes to the cannabis plant, this does look similar and can confuse people.

When this is being grown out in large numbers, it can start to confuse people as looking the same as marijuana. The plant tends to grow tall and that is why people claim it has a similar appearance to cannabis.

However, similar to other names on this list, it all comes down to counting the lobes. How many are there on the kenaf compared to cannabis?

With the kenaf, you are looking at 3-7 lobes, while cannabis tends to go all the way up to 9.

Final Thoughts

With marijuana growing in popularity, as it has become legal at the state level in more places around the U.S., a lot of people are beginning to understand the  potential beauty of this natural plant.

However, it is still noted as looking similar to a number of other plants including the ones mentioned above. With this in mind, it’s best to keep your eyes open for the odd okra, Japanese maple, or kenaf in your neighboring garden/park because it is quite the sight.

Not only do these plants resemble marijuana, they often have a distinct aroma that is telling from afar. For the curious mind, it’s never a bad idea to sit down and compare these different plants to see what they’re all about!