12 Quirky and Unusual Plants

Plants that are a bit weird and different!

There are some incredibly unique plants in nature; everything from carnivorous plants to plants that resemble rocks, animals and body parts.

If you’re looking for a plant that is a bit different from the norm, you’re sure to find some interesting and unusual plants on this list.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read the disclosure for more info.

Quirky and unusual plants


1. Lithops

Lithops, also known as living stones or pebble plants are succulents that resemble rocks.

They’re very drought tolerant and grow best in areas that are hot and dry with very little rainfall.

Lithops can also be grown indoors but they need lots of light and very little water.

Plants that are three years or older may produce a white or yellow flower from the middle of the plant.


2. Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Venus Flytraps are one of the most well-known carnivorous plants.

They have jaws that trap flies and other insects when the hairs of the plant are touched.

The plant then uses its digestive juices to break down the insect, which provides the plant with nitrogen.

They grow well indoors in a well-lit spot with the pot sitting on a saucer of water to keep the soil moist.

If there aren’t enough flies around, you can use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.

Venus Flytraps are a great plant for kids but just make sure that they don’t trigger the traps too many times or they’ll stop working.

RELATED: 5 Carnivorous Houseplants

Venus flytrap plant

3. Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

Bird of Paradise is a tropical plant with spectacular flowers that look like brightly colored flying birds.

The flowers can be yellow, orange, blue or purple in color.

They grow best in warm, humid climates but they can also be grown in containers in cooler climates and taken inside when the weather gets cold.

Quirky plants

4. Lobster Claw (Heliconia wagneriana)

Lobster Claw, also known as Rainbow Heliconia, is a quirky and unusual plant with beautiful bright bracts that resemble the claw of a lobster.

They grow best in humid climates in full sun or part shade and can reach up to 6.5 feet (2 metres) in height.

The flowers are long lasting and look great as part of a flower arrangement but they need to be picked when the flowers are fully open because they won’t open after they’ve been picked.

RELATED: How To Grow Heliconias

Weird plants

5. Passion Flower (Passiflora spp.)

Passion flowers are perennial climbers with interesting and unusual flowers that open for only one day.

Each vine produces a number of flowers though, so you get lots of spectacular flowers during the flowering season.

The most common colors are blue, white and purple, but there are also red varieties of Passion flowers.

They’re fast growing and can reach 16 to 32 feet (5 to 10 m).

Passion flowers grow best in full sun to partial shade and look great growing along fences, pergolas or trellises.

RELATED: How To Grow Passion Flowers


6. Victoria Amazonica

Victoria Amazonica, also known as Amazon Water Lily or Giant Water Lily, has huge round leaves that grow up to 10 feet (3 metres) across.

The edge of the leaves bend upwards to avoid overlapping with other plants and the undersides are thorny to protect them from being eaten by fish.

The leaves are strong and can hold the weight of a child.

Victoria Amazonica’s flowers are big and beautiful, but they can only be seen at night.

Strange plants

7. Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis)

Bleeding Hearts are fast growing perennials that are great for shady areas.

Their beautiful heart shaped flowers can be pink, white or red.

They flower from summer to fall but they can take a couple of seasons to bloom after planting.

There are lots of different varieties of Bleeding Hearts that range from 1.5 feet (45 cm) to 3 feet (90 cm) in height.

How to grow bleeding hearts

8. Starfish Plant (Stapelia gigantean)

The Starfish plant is a large succulent that is native to South Africa and Tanzania.

It has star shaped flowers that grow up to 10 inches (25 cm wide). The flowers are yellow and red with hairs around the edges.

The flowers smell like rotting meat, which attracts flies to pollinate them.

Starfish plants are drought tolerant and grow best in warm climates with temperatures above 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). [1]

Unusual plants

9. String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

String of Pearls, also known as Chain of Pearls, is an unusual succulent that looks great in a hanging basket.

It has little green balls that look like pearls growing along its stems and it can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) long.

String of Pearls can be cut back regularly to encourage more growth and keep it tidy. The cuttings can be used to propagate more plants.

Important Note: String of Pearls should be kept away from children and pets because it’s mildly toxic.

String of Pearls plant

10. Cape Sundew (Drosera capensis)

Cape Sundew is a quirky carnivorous plant that traps insects by slowly wrapping its sticky, sap-covered leaves around its prey.

The leaves are small, only reaching about 1.5 inches (4 cm) high. [2]

They’re easy to grow and re-seed readily so you’ll have lots of free plants.

Cape Sundew produces pale violet flowers during summer.

Cape sundew

11. Tropical Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes species)

Another unusual carnivorous plant is the Tropical Pitcher plant, also known as Monkey Cups.

It has a pouch of sticky sap that it uses to trap insects, but it can also trap small lizards, spiders and worms.

They grow in areas with nitrogen-poor soil and get their nitrogen from the insects once they are digested.

Tropical Pitcher plants also catch falling leaf litter which produces nitrogen when it breaks down. 

Tropical pitcher plants

12. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)

Burro’s Tail, also called Donkey’s Tail, is an interesting looking hanging succulent.

Its cascading stems and fleshy leaves look like they’ve been woven or plaited.

Burro’s Tail is a delicate plant and the leaves can fall off with just the slightest touch so you have to be careful when moving them around.

The leaves that fall off can be used to easily propagate more plants.

Burro’s Tail can be divided every couple of years when it grows too big for its pot.

Indoor hanging plant

So there’s my list of quirky and unusual plants.

Which of these weird plants do you like best? Let me know in the comments below.


Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Garden Plants and Gardening Tips that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

Quirky and unusual plants

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Heather

    These are so cool! I would love a Venus Fly Trap. I think they are the coolest. I had a friend with one, and I was always fascinated by it.

  2. joy

    Such gorgeous plants. I think I really like #5 and #6 especially.

  3. Emily Zielinski

    I would LOVE to get my hands on a venus fly trap!! they are so cool

  4. Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    Yyyeeaaahhhh….the Venus Flytrap and the thing it does with swallowing up little insects that fall in “it arms”….I had never understood how it works.

  5. Summer Shores

    This was so informative! Never heard of any of these beside the venus flytrap, how cool!

  6. Paula Schuck

    All of these are so cool. I love Bleeding Hearts. They grew in my grandma’s yard when I was a kid and now I have some here because they make me happy. There are some great ideas here and quirky plants. I like the Starfish. I am guessing it needs a hot humid environment though which is not Canada. LOL

  7. WanderlustBeautyDreams

    I’ve never seen Venus Flytrap plant before. They look so interesting. Thanks for sharing this list!

  8. Erin Knight

    The Bird of Paradise looks so unique and beautiful, I wish I had that one at home.

  9. Ronnie

    Loving all these quirky plants! I need the bleeding hearts one for my home. It’s gorgeous!

  10. Steph S

    Cool unique plants! I’ve always liked Venus fly traps cuz they look cool and trap the flies!

  11. katrina Kroeplin

    These plants look amazing. I love different plants. I used to live in the desert and wanted to plant a garden but didn’t really live there long enough to be able to fulfill that dream out.

  12. angelina

    So many of my favourite plants here! So wonderful to see! Thanks for sharing.

  13. littlemisadvencha

    Even though they look weird, they are still beautiful. 🙂 🙂 I love the starfish plant.

Leave a Reply