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plant that smells like skunk

If you grow any of these plants in your garden you could be getting a visit from the police

These perfectly innocent plants have got people raided by the police or worse

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  • 20:00, 7 SEP 2017

Earlier this week we reported on a couple whose home had been invaded by drug dealers attracted to the property by a strong smell of cannabis.

The drugs gang thought the couple’s home in the leafy village of Winford, near Bristol Airport, was a cannabis factory and broke down the door to steal the stash – terrifying the couple in the process.

But the thugs were mistaken. There was no cannabis and the source of the skunky aroma was eventually found in a flowering plant in their garden, called Caucasian Crosswort.

The innocent plant had caused a nightmare for the terrorised couple and comments on social media showed that other people had also got into hot water over innocent plants that smell like pot.

So, these are the plants you shouldn’t plant in your garden unless you want to bring the police knocking, or worse.

Phlox subulata

Ivor Wiltshire, 77, and his wife Margaret had a similar experience.

The pong of cannabis around their home in Kingswood attracted not only gang members who threatened their next-door neighbour but also police.

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The couple returned from a holiday in Madera to find the drugs squad had battered down their front door and searched the property.

And the cause of all this trouble? A type of flowering moss, called phlox subulata, which looks nothing like cannabis but gives off a pungent aroma similar to the drug.

Mugwort

A plant that has been used as a culinary herb and medicinally throughout the world for centuries.

Mugwort has many uses, from insect repellent to flavouring food and even beer.

The plant grows around the world and in the Far East, it is used as a medicine.

In medieval Europe it was said to have magical properties. Mugwort could protect from evil spits and wild animals, and remedy fatigue.

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All that aside, one of the less useful properties of Mugwort is that it smells exactly like weed – several people have reported having to answer awkward questions from neighbours after planting it.

Spider flowers

Cleome or Spider flower leaves reportedly look and smell a lot like cannabis.

One social media user said he was actually able to fool his friend’s younger brother with leaves.

“One time, over 10 years ago, I found a cleome plant and was like ‘wow, looks like weed’ and jokingly grabbed a bunch of leaves and pressed them in a book.

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“Later, they were dried up and we found them during class, a friend crumbled them up and put them in a bag, and then eventually sold it to his younger brother. His brother smoked it with his friends and came back for more.”

Tomatoes

Police raided a 79-year-old widow’s highland cottage in 2008 after mistaking her tomato plants for a cannabis factory.

Officer’s tore Lulu Matheson’s house apart and ‘arrested’ her Labrador and Jack Russell dogs after they mistook the tomato plants growing on a windowsill for cannabis.

These perfectly innocent plants have got people raided by the police or worse

What is this flower that smells like a skunk?

This has been blooming in the sun in my yard in Massachusetts for the past two weeks. We’ve only lived here since last spring and since I didn’t plant it, I’m guessing it’s a perennial. What’s intriguing is that the flower smells like it’s been sprayed by a skunk. The leaves have no odor. Can anyone tell me what it is?

1 Answer 1

It looks like Cleome hassleriana, commonly known as spider flower.

Identifying characteristics are the compound leaves with seven leaflets, the long petioles (leaf stalks), the way that the individual flowers are held tightly furled around the flower head, and the long stamens visible on the older flowers lower down on the head.

It’s an annual, and spreads easily, so you may end up with more of it next year if you don’t remove the seed heads when they form (if they even will, this late in the year).

What is this flower that smells like a skunk? This has been blooming in the sun in my yard in Massachusetts for the past two weeks. We’ve only lived here since last spring and since I didn’t