40 Of Mother Nature’s Confusing Plants Only Netizens Could Identify

By Arvyn B May 3, 2022

One of the best additions to any home has to be a plant. Whether it’s a fake one or a real one, plants can really help to spruce up a home. They bring some extra color to the environment, but plants can also make you feel a lot happier. Most of us will have plants like small trees or beautiful flowers in our homes. But we would be very surprised if anyone had flowers like these in their house. They’re just super strange! These plants came courtesy of the community on Reddit called “Whatsthisplant.” As you might be able to guess, users in this community catalog the different plants that they’re not sure about. Some of them are pretty bizarre, and you might find yourself questioning if Mother Nature could really create things like this!

Funky Ficus

Let’s start with a tree that’s equally beautiful and fascinating — a Ficus benjamina. As you can tell by the hollow center, this is a rather unusual tree. It is certainly not what we’d picture if someone asked us to draw a tree.

palatino007 (Reddit)

Perhaps it is the hollow center, or the geometric shapes the trunk makes, but we are absolutely fascinated by it. Although not all F. benjamina grow like this, having one like this outside our house would be a fairytale theme we could apprecaite.

Interesting Ice Plant

Looking at this plant, you might think it’s something from a video game, but we can assure you that this is very much real! The name of this plant is “ice plant,” although we’re not too sure where that came from.

EffectiveEggplant1 (Reddit)

Something like the “Minecraft Plant” would be a far better name for it! The ice plant is actually a type of succulent, meaning that it’s great at storing water. This makes it a great plant for anyone who can’t devote much time to their plants.

Cute Camellia

Here’s another beautiful flower for you. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the name of this one is “pink perfection.” Just look at those petals — they look absolutely wonderful! It looks more like a piece of ice cream and is not at all natural.

Magporca (Reddit)

However, this particular flower is supposedly rather difficult to look after. When the weather gets a little cold, the frost can destroy the petals and leave them looking quite ugly instead. If you want it, make sure you keep it someplace warm!

Respectable Rose

The name of this flower is pretty fitting — the “chimera rose.” If you didn’t know, a “chimera” is a kind of mythical creature with different animal body parts. The word is also used in science to mean an organism made of two “individuals.”

Dishsoapalmighty (Reddit)

This rose is divided almost perfectly into red and white petals, and we think it looks utterly beautiful. You might think this is pretty rare to find outside a lab, but it’s surprisingly common in flowers. Hibiscus flowers are well-known to ‘split’ like this.

Crazy Cabbage

Some of the names that people give plants are spot-on, and this next one is no different. This strange-looking flower is called an “ornamental cabbage,” which fits it to a T. Just look at those textured purplish and white petals!

Saturnoz87 (Reddit)

This is a one kind of ‘cabbage’ that definitely won’t give you bad gas! Unfortunately, we cannot recommend that you try to eat this flower. Supposedly it doesn’t taste too great. You’re better off sticking to regular cabbages to munch on.

Strange Succulent

There’s something unusual about succulent plants, and this one is no exception. It seems like the ‘buds’ of this one are completely transparent! It looks more like something you’d find on an alien planet than here on good old Terra Firma.

Devi1duck (Reddit)

In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if something like this actually came from another planet or even a horror movie. It looks just like the eggs from Ridley Scott’s Alien films. Make sure you don’t get too close to this one!

Clever Crocus

Our next plant is not unusual because of how it looks, but rather, how it grows. According to the user that posted this picture, the plant just sprung up out of nowhere in their garden. What a lovely gift from Mother Nature!

L4N3y (Reddit)

Thankfully, the internet had this user’s back, and people were able to quickly identify this particular flower as a “crocus.” Apparently, these flowers are pretty popular in the Netherlands, and you can see them growing all over the place. Pretty sweet!

Curly Cacti

Cacti are a lovely addition to any house, particularly because they are durable plants and can survive even the harshest of conditions. Just make sure to look, not touch! And this cactus, in particular, is certainly a strange sight to behold.

Black_rose_ (Reddit)

The full name for it is Cereus forbesii cv. Spiralis, but we think a better name for it is just “curly cactus.” We’ve never seen one like this before! However, we can’t tell if the flowers make it look less weird or even more so.

Prickly Pear

Unsurprisingly, this next plant is a cactus — a prickly pear, to be specific. The prickly part is obvious, but what about the pear? Well, that refers to the tasty fruit that this cactus bears. Just make sure to peel it carefully.

Mixed-episodes (Reddit)

But what gets us is the purple color. We normally think of cacti as spiky, green plants with the occasional flower. This purple monstrosity almost reminds us of a large Venus Fly Trap, with the wide leaves jutting out everywhere.

Bizarre Bougainvillea

Now, it’s back to the super strange-looking plants! This one is called a Bougainvillea, and the user saw it while driving in Santa Monica, California. If you look closely, it looks like this plant is eating the car parked on the driveway!

Arkwl (Reddit)

We can imagine that this plant is one heck of a job to keep trim — which is probably why nobody has done it. Or perhaps it’s not a comfortable job to be this person’s landscaper. According to some other users, it also has terrible thorns.

Terrific Tundra Cotton

We’re not surprised that this strange little plant is colloquially known as “cotton grass” or “tundra cotton.” If we didn’t know any better, we’d assume that some sheep walked by and snagged their wool on some burrs. In fact, this is probably a good way to prank someone about growing wool…

Clarifrench (Reddit)

If you would like to check these plants out for yourself, you can see them in a field “somewhere in Nunavut,” according to the user. We can imagine that it probably feels as fluffy as it looks, and we’d love to touch it!

Seeing Double

If you didn’t believe us about how common two-toned plants are, we’ve got anotherone for you. However, what’s unique about this flower is the way the colors seem to blend together so seamlessly with each other. It’s almost like a painting!

Trieuvanvccvv (Reddit)

This particular species of flower is called a “Rose Joseph’s Coat” or a “climbing rose.” All of the flowers actually grow in this mixture of shades. But, it’s a complete chance as to how extreme the blending turns out to be.

Tall Tree

This user claims that they spotted this tree in India, but we’re not even sure that ‘tree’ is the right word to use for it. It looks more like a hanging vine or a tree that decided to get hair extensions to flow in the breeze!

archana55 (Shutterstock)

This plant belongs to the genus Caryota, but you might know it better by its common name “fishtail palm.” That’s pretty fitting given how it looks. Unless you live in India, you probably won’t see these plants. Though it’s been spotted as an invasive plant in Florida.

Wonderful Wildflower

If you’re a fan of flowers, then there’s probably nothing greater for you than going for a walk in nature to find a bunch to place on your table. You can find all sorts of lovely plants hidden in the countryside, like the ones below.

Manlikerealities (Reddit)

This user found them on a walk in Daylesford in Australia. Those of you with a keen eye for flowers will probably recognize them as being “forget-me-nots.” And there’s certainly something we will never do, as these flowers are just too beautiful!

A Little Interruption

For this picture, it’s not the flowers that are the most unusual part of the picture — it’s the wildlife around it. Just what on earth is that cat doing there, and why is it so enormous?! It’s a complete mystery to us!

Sadrice (Reddit)

In case you were wondering about what kind of flowers these are, these are named Salvia, and they are a pretty common species. As for the cat species, we’ve got no idea — although some have suggested it’s “Felisa catus floofus”!

Great Geum

You might think that this next one is a piece of candyfloss or something else you get at a carnival — but you’d be wrong. It’s actually a type of flower, and it’s certainly one of the weirdest ones on the list.

Raz1230 (Reddit)

However, something tells us that the flower probably doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as it looks. We certainly don’t recommend taking a bite of it! The thorns on the bottom give it a real fantasy story look. It’s so cool!

Not a Painting

Here’s another flower that seems like it came out of someone’s paint palette, but it’s actually 100% real! It’s called a Caladium, and it should be no surprise that people choose this plant for its gorgeous leaves. They are a work of art.

RoseRoss186 (Reddit)

However, these plants can be a little difficult to care for, as they require a lot of moisture and air that’s not too dry in order to survive. Similarly, too much fertilizer can kill the leaves, so you need to be careful looking after them.

Curious Kitty

We’ve got another lovely kitty for this picture, who seems to be helping its owner find these flowers. Either that or that fluffball is trying to hide amongst the flowers. It’s not doing a very good job, though, with those colors!

Distinct-shuffle (Reddit)

Either way, this is one beautiful patch of flowers that is certainly improved by this lovely kitty. The name of the flowers is Saxifraga arendsii, and they are a pretty common species. It all makes for a wonderfully beautiful picture!

Terrific Tree

Of course, not all plants are beautiful in the traditional sense. Some plants, like this one, are stunning not because of their color, but because of their shape. Check out the intense roots of this tree. They look almost like a wall, don’t they?

Canihavesome (Reddit)

The species is called Sterculia apetala, and we wish we could go back in time and play around this tree as children. Trying to climb up the trunk and slide down the roots, it would feel like living in a fairytale, don’t you think?

Ponytail Palm

If you look at this plant, you might be able to see where the writer Dr. Seuss got some of his inspiration. After all, the leaves of this tree look like something you might find in Whoville. It doesn’t look natural, that’s for sure.

Runningfox3 (Reddit)

This is a Beaucarnea recurvata, otherwise known as the “Ponytail Palm.” Unlike some of the other common names for plants, we’re not feeling this one. It’s more like a wig than a ponytail. Or, perhaps a bundle of algae stuck on a branch.

Pearl Necklace

There are just so many beautiful and strange plants out there that it’s honestly surprising that we don’t use them for jewelry. Just take a look at this one, for example. The buds look like they could be turned into pearl necklaces.

Hp5al (Reddit)

It shouldn’t surprise you that the name for this plant is the “golden dewdrop.” Why? Because the beads of orange look like a piece of gold that is ‘dropping’ from the sky! Anyone with this in their backyard is certainly very lucky indeed.

Deadly Pineapple

At first glance, this tree looks like it might be a pineapple tree, but that is one dangerous mistake to make. The Redditors were unsure of what species it was exactly, but many of them thought it might be a cycad plant.

Dldaniel123 (Reddit)

The user who posted this picture said that their friend ate one of the pods, which is a pretty deadly mistake to make. If it is a cycad plant, the pods are toxic to humans, so the friend needs to go straight to the hospital.

Easter Egg Tree

Looking at this plant, it seems like we know where the Easter Bunny keeps all his eggs. It looks just like an Easter egg tree! Sadly, there is no such thing, and this plant is actually called the “porcelain berry.”

Moops04 (Reddit)

We reckon that this is where some people got their inspiration for the Easter bunny, though! If only that plant were real — we can imagine that it grows the most delicious Easter eggs in the whole world. Mmm…that’s made us feel hungry!

Tea Set

Here’s another plant that looks like it could be part of a mythical story. If you look closely at the leaves, it looks just like a tea set, complete with a mug and plate for biscuits. There’s just one difference — it’s for fairies instead!

WIlmoire (Reddit)

This lovely set of plants is called a “carnation sponge,” though we’re not quite sure where that name came from since it looks like neither of those things. We wouldn’t be surprised if Tinkerbell took a sip out of the cup!

Paint Tree

It looks like Mother Nature was trying her hand at art with this next tree — look at those strokes! According to the user who posted it, the tree is much more vibrant in person than in the picture, which is pretty surprising.

Crispychcikenadhd (Reddit)

It is called a “rainbow eucalyptus,” and this tree is supposedly quite common on a number of university campuses in America. If you have one of these on your university grounds, you should count yourself lucky, as it’s pretty beautiful!

Nelumbo nucifera

So far, we’ve seen a few examples of kitties in nature being pretty easy to spot against the flowers. For this one, we have a lovely little hummingbird that almost perfectly matches the shade of the lotus flower that it’s sat in.

Blabgasm (Reddit)

This picture is easily something that is a once-in-a-lifetime shot. Look at the way that the colors blend together so well! You can see this particular flower in one of the Japanese gardens of Singapore. We definitely want to take a trip!

Chinese Lanterns

These plants might be called “Chinese lanterns,” but they don’t actually grow in China — they’re from Holland in Michigan! The outside of the plant looks more like a spiderweb than a real flower. This is just one of the reasons that it’s so special.

Donja77 (Reddit)

However, we think that the French name for this flower is even more stunning. Apparently, it’s called “des amours en cage,” which translates to “love in a cage.” What a gorgeous name that is, and much better than the English name!

Hardy Tapioca

As a kid, all of us had those times when we went crazy with a pair of scissors, trying to make some arts and crafts. One particularly common piece of art that almost everyone makes is a “paper chain.” This plant looks just like that!

The_Karma4ya (Reddit)

It seems that Mother Nature herself decided to get busy with her scissors and cut this flower into these unique shapes. It almost looks like the plant version of a snowflake, and we reckon the leaves are just as special as one.

What Is It?

We’re back at the animal varieties for this one! Here are a bunch of what appear to be perfume wax apples, all in a perfect circle. But one of them is not quite like the others…can you guess which one it is?

Gangoat (Reddit)

It’s the little doggy in the back, of course! Let’s just hope that nobody took a bite of any of these apples, as we’re sure that none of them taste as good as the real thing. 100 points to the doggy for trying hard, though!

Killer Cocklebur

This picture is a lawsuit in the making! The user who posted this picture opened a can of chickpeas when they suddenly spotted a strange plant inside. Thank goodness they did that because the answer was a lot scarier than you might think.

Goodgollymsdolly (Reddit)

This is actually a cocklebur plant, which is toxic to humans! Hopefully, they threw the whole can away and contacted the manufacturer for a full refund. It could’ve gone a lot worse than this, so they should count themselves lucky.

Super Seal

This user posted a picture of these flowers on the beach to see if anyone could identify them. However, they gave a pretty big request, too — “ignore the elephant seal.” It’s pretty difficult to do this one, seeing how big it is!

VacuousVoid (Reddit)

Honestly — same. We’ve all felt this way before when it’s Monday morning, and our alarms are going off to work. In case you’re wondering, this species of beach plant is called an “ice plant,” although that name makes no sense to us.

Christmas Treeus

Looking at this tree, it seems that the Easter Bunny is not the only one who has a real tree growing in the wild. Even Santa Claus is getting in on the action with a tree that looks like something from a movie!

Luckydog12 (Reddit)

This tree is called a Puya bromeliad, and it’s a real wonder that more of us don’t have on in our homes for Christmas. Those leaves look absolutely perfect for the festive season, right down to the shade of blue.

3D Tree

We’ve got another tree for you here, which looks like it came just out of a Minecraft game. It looks so trippy! The name of it is the “Rising Sun Eastern Redbud,” which we guess comes from the yellow tips of the leaves.

Release1975 (Reddit)

When we first saw this tree, it made our eyes feel pretty loopy! So, we can only imagine that seeing the plant in real life must be ten times worse than this. Let’s just hope people didn’t get too much of a headache!

Giant Tree

Now we’ve got a plant that’s impressive not for its beauty and not even for its age. The size is what makes this plant so amazing! So, it’s no wonder that the name of it is “Jack’s Giant,” since it looks like something from Jack and the Beanstalk.

Contrenox (Reddit)

Whoever this guy is, he’s pretty smart for using it as an umbrella. After all, it’s pretty big, and it’s good for the environment as well! Any Totoro fans might recognize this leaf from the movies — it is so iconic!

Smoke Bush

The name of this plant doesn’t seem to be quite right. It’s called a “smoke bush,” but we think that a name like “sunset bush” would be a much more suitable name. The colors look just like a summer day’s sunset.

ColourMeCrazyDoctor (Reddit)

Regardless of the name, there is no denying that this bush has some of the most spectacular colors around. We would certainly feel blessed to see one ourselves! Apparently, the colors change all year round, and they are all wonderful.

Simple Beauty

This tree is one of those iconic beauties that you see on postcards. It looks like it might be from paradise, but this picture was actually snapped in Portland, Oregon. The name catches us off guard a bit — “pink flowering dogwood.”

Serafino23 (Reddit)

The “pink” and the “flowering,” we totally get. As for “dogwood,” that’s just in reference to the genus, Comus. That’s something to take up with Middle English, but it’s certainly better than calling it a “Pink Flowering Whippletree” (Chaucer’s name for a dogwood).

Video Game Plant

Just what on earth is it with these plants that seem to have come straight out of a video game?! This next one is no exception, as the shape of the plants seems just a little too perfect to be natural.

Harleylover2106 (Reddit)

One Redditor asked if this plant was edible, although we would probably not recommend doing it. We’re not too sure if the Echeveria bloom is poisonous or not. Still, other Redditors claim that taking a bite is a bad idea.

Not a Bird!

This one seems like a crazy optical illusion when you first look at it! Those are not actually birds sitting on the branches of this tree — they’re really just a bunch of feathers! We’re not sure if this is deliberate or not.

Palatino007 (Reddit)

Perhaps the flower evolved to look this way so that it can keep itself safe from any predators that try to eat it. You’ll probably never guess the name of it, though — it’s called a “greater cat ears” plant. What a strange name!

Special Spring Beauty

Although this plant might not be too unusual, the story that goes along with it is quite touching. This user saw the beautiful plant growing out of the ground near their dog’s grave. We can’t help feeling there is a message here.

JoRHawk (Reddit)

No matter how difficult it was saying goodbye to their lovable companion, this flower is a reminder of the good times they had together. The flower grew out of the darkness, and this is a testament to their love together.

Fighting Fern

Our last entry on this list is unusual for a completely different reason to any one of the ones mentioned above. This picture of the plant sparked a wide range of discussion from Redditors as they tried to figure out what it was.

Thestrible (Reddit)

Some of them argued that it was a Cyrtomium falcatum rochefordianum. In contrast, some other people said it could not possibly be this one. Someone even suggested that it was a “Photoshopium” because of how unusual it is. Perhaps we’ll never know the truth.