Plant
Unsplash | Scott Webb

18 Unusual Plants People Asked The Internet To Identify

For as long as I remember, we had plants in the house. It wasn't a concrete jungle, but a few leafy plants were always present in at least a few rooms. So that's where I got my love of nature, I suppose.

These days I stick to the known varieties of houseplants that are easy to care for by anyone. But occasionally, I'm baffled by some plant species, and as it turns out, so are other people. There's even a subreddit called r/Whatsthisplant, and what you will find there is quite astonishing. Let's go and have a look.

This Purple Beauty

Santa Rita prickly pear
reddit | u/mixed-episodes

Oh my goodness. Would you take a look at this? What did I tell you? This plant is amazing, huh? Would you like to know what it is? Well, it's called Santa Rita prickly pear. As you can see, it has large, beautiful yellow flowers that rest on the outer edges of spine-covered, fleshy succulent pads. In winter, these pads turn to a rich purple color. Wow!

This Whimsical Little Vine

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata, “porcelain berry” or “Amur peppervine”
reddit | Reddit | u/moops04

Whoa, is this plant real or what? It looks like somebody painted it for Easter, ha, ha. It is Ampelopsis glandulosa or porcelain berry. This seemingly sweet plant can actually be quite intrusive. It likes to grow in forests where it can cling to trees and shrubs. Once introduced into the United States, it became invasive in 13 states in the east.

This Ground Surprise

Claytonia virginica
reddit | Reddit | u/JoRHawke

"Found this growing voluntarily over my dog's grave," - one Redditor shared. 

Awe, that's so sweet. Isn't it? I would love to plant this over my dog's grave too. This plant is called Claytonia virginica or Virginia springbeauty and a beauty it is. It is known to be the most attractive spring perennial, and it grows from an underground tuber just like a small potato.

This Interesting Species

Geraldton Carnation Weed
reddit | u/Wilmoire

This interesting-looking plant is actually a common and serious perennial weed. It's a native of the Mediterranean coast and is most often seen on road verges and disturbed coastal areas and swamps. These plants have very toxic milky sap when cut. It's a major threat to the conservation values of Banksia and Tuart woodlands. Holy moly!

This Strange Plant

Silver Bush plant
reddit | u/lzl00

At first glance, you would think that this plant is dead. Am I right? But I can assure you it is not. It's called Calocephalus brownii or Silver Bush and is easily recognizable by its stiff, silvery-white leaves on wiry branches. It is a plant genus that is endemic to Australia. I think looks so cool, huh?

This Impressive Species

Fiddle leaf in the living room
reddit | u/glowphotosglow

"My SO’s mother has this magnificent plant, but she couldn’t identify it. Can anyone help? The houseplant is located in North Carolina."

Okay, so this lady grew the most epic fiddle leaf fig anyone has ever seen and she has the audacity to not even know what it's called? LOL! How did it get so big? OMG.

These Little Fluffballs

cotton grass growing in a field
reddit | u/clarifrench

Somebody stumbled upon these little fluffballs growing in a field somewhere in Nunavut, and they had no idea what they were. Commonly known as Cotton Grass, but since they're a member of the sedge family, they're not technically grass at all. They can thrive in the harshest of environments. Cotton Grass seeds and stems are edible and are used in traditional Indigenous cuisine.

This Creepy Specimen

Stapelia succulent with flower
reddit | u/Altruistic_Fox_1448

When a person who owns this succulent noticed the overwhelming flower, they were concerned. After all, it's much bigger than the plant itself, but no worries, this is just the way it flowers. This Stapelia succulent has very interesting flowers but be warned — they stink.

This Bad Boi

Flowering Maple or Tiger eye flower
reddit | Reddit | u/griffinrocc

If you went to Machu Pichu, you could expect to find something like this. This flower fell from a tree and the person who found it needed somebody to identify it. Good thing people of Reddit were right on it and said it was Tiger Eye Flowering Maple. It's so unusual, right?

This Daisy-Like Flower

Gazania flower
reddit | Reddit | u/sunlightbaby

People who live in Australia might find this flower familiar, but I have no idea what it's called, ha, ha. It's actually Gazania, and it's native to Southern Africa. It's a genus of flowering plants that produce large, daisy-like composite flowerheads in brilliant shades of yellow and orange. It's quite gorgeous, no?

This Flowering Bush

Smoke bush
reddit | u/ColourMeCrazyDoctor

This impressive bush is called Smoketree. It's an upright spreading deciduous shrub or small tree from the Anacardiaceae (cashew or poison ivy) family. The smoky pink flowers are very showy, wispy, and airy and start to appear in mid-summer. It's definitely a showstopper.

This Gorgeous Cactus

Cereus Peruvianus cactus
reddit | u/ElBob31

Somebody has this impressive cactus growing in their outdoor garden. They thought it was San Pedro cacti, but as it turns out, it's Cereus Peruvianus. It has an often tree-like appearance with cylindrical gray-green to blue stems that can reach 10 meters in height and 10–20 cm in diameter. Get this it has nocturnal flowers that remain open for only one night and are of vital importance to pollinating bats. Wow!

This Unique Species

Echeveria plant
reddit | Reddit | u/harleylover2106

Get a load of this gorgeous succulent here. This is Echeveria grisea and a large genus of flowering plants from the Crassulaceae family. It's native to semi-desert areas of Central America, Mexico, and northwestern South America. I think this plant is absolutely beautiful.

This Unusual Flower

Chinese lanterns flower
reddit | Reddit | u/donja77

Check out this cute flower that looks like little bubbles with tomatoes inside it. These are actually called Chinese Lanterns. They're a species of flowering plants in the nightshade family Solanaceae. It is easily identifiable by the large, bright orange to red papery covering over its fruit, which resembles paper lanterns. How do you like that?

This Plant Found In A Japanese Garden

Kingfisher bird sitting inside of Nelumbo nucifera plant
reddit | u/blabgasm

Is this not the most visually pleasing bird and plant combination? How do these two look exactly the same is beyond my comprehension. This Lotus flower is so unique and matches the colors of this bird perfectly. This is nature at its best.

This House Climbing Tree

Wisteria climbing outside of a house
reddit | Reddit | u/thephatangel

Imagine if you had this tree growing on the outside of your house? I would love that. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Wisteria. Isn't it the most stunning climbing tree you've ever seen? Not only do I love how it grows, but this purple color is simply fantastic.

This Unusual-Looking 'Rose'

Geum Reptans
reddit | Reddit | u/Raz1230

"A rose by any other name ..."

Yes, in fact, this plant belongs to the rose family. It's called Geum reptansand is a low-growing perennial plant that produces buttery, yellow blooms in late spring or summer. After that, the flowers wilt and develop attractive fuzzy, pink seedheads. Isn't that so fascinating or what?

This Curly Cactus

Cereus Spiralis
reddit | u/black_rose_

Whoa! Have you ever seen such a thing? Oh, my! Just what is this cacti beauty, huh? This plant species is called Cereus Spiralisand it's a fast-growing columnar and then later branching cactus. At first, these cacti start by growing straight, and then start to grow with a twist after 5 cm in height. This one here is a particularly plentiful one.

Who knew there were so many unusual plants, huh?

plants in pots
Unsplash | Ceyda Çiftci

I love when nature produces such unique, beautiful, and fascinating gems. I've only touched the surface of all these surprising finds. If you want to see more beauties like these, make sure you check out the Reddit thread. I'm sure you'll be both stunned and satisfied to find out what they are. What are you waiting for, huh?