What Plants Are Mistaken for Marijuana?


If you are concerned that marijuana is being cultivated in your area, you should know that several types of plants are commonly mistaken for marijuana plants.

Marijuana plants are often identified by their leaf shape. image by "SKJ Marihuana" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: r0bz (Fotoblog Rare) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Typically, marijuana plants have slender leaflets of five to seven individual leaves and can be many shades of green with small flowering white or yellow buds and a pungent odor.

This unidentified nonmarijuana plant is an example of pointed leaflets. image by "YIPPPEEEEEE......rain" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Niffty.. (Neal Fowler) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Japanese Dwarf Shrub

These small leafy shrubs have star-form leaflets with pointed tips mirroring those seen on marijuana plants.


Water hemp, Cinquefoils and Coral Plants each have the characteristic pointed tip leaflets and similar slender stalks also seen in marijuana plants.


Texas Buckeye also has pointed leaflets and blossom flowering white buds. But this plant is poisonous and does not produce cannabis.


Marijuana is illegal in the United States, except in some states for approved medical uses. If you suspect marijuana plants are being cultivated in your area, contact local law enforcement.


  • DEA: Marijuana
  • Texas Buckeye
Keywords: marijuana identification, mistaken for marijuana, plants look like marijuana

About this Author

Raquel Franco has been writing over two years and has published articles on several popular websites such as; Ehow.com, Preschoolrocks.com and Seventeen.com. She is currently completing a Master's in Computer Science and works with both the technical and military communities.