Cannabis Mutations / Varieties in terms of Leaf Morphology


Cannabis is an incredibly diverse plant being able to produce anything from medicine, recreational drugs, food, clothing, housing, fuel and much more. Most of you are familiar with the prolific cannabis and Hemp leave form known to most people living on earth.

Yet, mostly unknown to a large range of Cannabis consumers or even people with no relation to Cannabis, this crop has a range of different leaf morphologies. The most important factor is genetic mutations of the DNA, which ultimately can give rise to a plethora of different appearances. The same biological mechanism of mutations that caused Cannabis to smell like fuel, cat piss, or even candy, can also alter the plant morphology (appearance). Mutations are entirely natural and an integral part of evolution or selective breeding, which gave us all the familiar Cannabis varieties such as OG Kush, White Widow, Chemdawg to name a few. In fact, once a mutation is stabilised it is not a mutation anymore rather a new variety. Not all varieties are created by selecting new mutations at times already present traits within a gene pool have been selected for and stabilised.

Think about the thousands of types of tulip flowers humanity and especially the Dutch have bred in the last centuries. The same is possible to achieve with Cannabis and Hemp. As most of you know there are thousands of different strains, mostly differentiated by the growth pattern (morphology) and their flower type and aromas. Even the difference between indica, ruderalis and sativa leaf forms can be very substantial, yet most individuals would be able to identify these different leaf forms as Cannabis leaves.

This article is about Hemp and Cannabis plant mutations, which feature leaf forms making them entirely unrecognizable to the untrained observer. We are proud that most of these Mutations are the foundation of “TerpyZ Genetics X Kalyseeds”, as we always strive to show the world the diversity and beauty of the Cannabis Genus. In fact, our breeder “Kalyseeds” aka. “Dr. Kaly”, has been breeding Cannabis for about 30 years with a focus on unique Terpene profiles, never seen before leaf forms and potency. The resulting Gene pool is in our eyes the most unique Cannabis library in the world and will get some fresh wind into the Cannabis industry.

Most “TerpyZ Genetics X Kalyseeds” strains are highly adapted to Outdoor environments and are exceptionally hardy in all kinds of climates, outperforming most modern hybrids. Indoors they

The different Leaf varieties/traits of Cannabis

1) Ducksfoot Cannabis (Webbed Leaves)

ic: Lemon Alien Duckfoot Cannabis

Often referred to as “Ducksfoot” varieties, these Cannabis leaves look similar to the print of a ducks foot with skin connecting the single toes. The leaves are usually very wide and at times slightly folded. During the growth “vegetative” phase, they look more like maple or currant plants, almost non-recognizable as Cannabis. In the bloom “flowering” phase with thick central colas emerging a certain similarity to regular Cannabis can be seen by experienced persons. As well as many Duckfoot varieties tend to get slimmer leaves more similar to regular Cannabis.

TerpyZ Genetics offers a range of Ducksfoot varieties, such as The Ugly Duck, Lemon Alien, Pablo Picasso (variegated Cannabis), Vino Tinto, and more. Webbed leaves are definitely one of the more common Cannabis mutations today.

2. ABC (Australian Bastard Cannabis)

ABC Australian Bastard Cannabis "Bindi Weed"

This rare mutation has been found in the rural South of Australia in the 70´s or 80´s according to the cannabis Community. This plant has absolutely no resemblance to Cannabis apart from the flowers, yet DNA analysis has shown it to be Cannabis sativa. Yet it is the most distant relative in the Cannabis genus having even fewer genes in common with regular Cannabis than Hemp.

Often referred to as ABC for Australian Bastard Cannabis or Bindi Bud (Australian slang) the plants start their growth rather slow and pick up from the 6th week to grow much faster. The leaves are tiny in comparison to regular Cannabis plants, they have serrated and non-serrated expression, smooth, thick and heavily fingered sometimes variegated and shiny leaves. Generally, a large range of range variation can be observed with ABC leaves. Most of the time the plant structure is that of a Christmas tree. Yet plants that grow like vines or wider than tall plants have been observed in a relatively small number of the population. There is a common leaf shape for most ABC plants, which best could be described as parsley-like. A tiny percentage features other leaf morphologies, which we currently are working to select for.

Another advantage of ABC is that they are super hardy compared to regular Cannabis. Featuring an improved cold-hardiness and heat tolerance, as well as diseases resistance, making them a great choice for difficult climates.

The leaf trait is recessive and does not show in the first generations. Flower production and Cannabinoid concentrations are also smaller than in regular cannabis, yet several improved lines and hybrids have been created and we are confident in the coming years ABC will catch up with regular Cannabis plants.

We will be offering soon a range of different ABC varieties, some IBL´s (Inbreed lines), as well as hybrids, such as ABC Flo and German Power ABC.

3. SWAG Cannabis / PAC (Pseudoacercannabis)

SWAG Bush PAC Cannabis

SWAG Cannabis or PAC (Pseudoacercannabis) is a mutation created by our breeder “Dr Kaly”. It certainly has a slight resemblance with Duckfoot leaves. Producing fused fingers or single leaflets. Another morphological change is that the leaves are entirely smooth on the edges.  

The SWAG Cannabis varieties have a large range of variability and plenty of opportunities in creating a number of new Cannabis leaf forms. Some lines show entirely fused leaflets with only 1 Finger, essentially forming a mostly smooth (non-serrated) Single Leaflet. Ranging from Rhomboid (diamond-shaped) to Lanceolate (Lance-shaped) like in Bamboo the single leaflet SWAG varieties are truly outstanding and have nothing in common with the looks of regular cannabis until they reach the flowering period, but even then many experienced growers have their difficulties identifying them as Cannabis. Other lines, which go more in the direction of webbed leaves resemble Maple leaves. At times these SWAG lines also show folding leaves. Another interesting trait found with SWAG Cannabis is variegations (colourful/White), albinism and crinkled leaves. More about these traits later.

Together with our legendary Breeder Dr. Kaly we will introduce dozens of SWAG / PAC Cannabis varieties. Through years of isolated breeding, with only a limited introduction of selected newer hybrids, Dr. Kaly has managed to create his own unique gene pool, with especially dank terpene-rich flowers. After many years of working with Cannabis flowers, smelling these plants was truly something new.

4. Single Leaflet Cannabis (Lanceolate)

ic: Giant Crusader Single Leaflet / Lanceolate Cannabis

The single leaflets of our strain catalogue are a mutation that originated from a wild population found in the Amur region of Russia. The leaves are Lanceolate (Lance-shaped) and serrated. Some specimens also develop 3 leaf tips towards the flowering phase, slightly moving into the direction of webbed leaves. This landrace has been crossed with Indian Summer, a potent and productive Duckfoots strain and reselected for the Lanceolate leaf morphology. The resulting strain is called Giant Pur Pur, also related t Pintura and Ortiga, MB (Minzblatt, german for mint-leaf), which are other Single Leaflet Cannabis strains. It is a very stable mutation and also very pretty. At "TerpyZ Genetics x Kalyseeds", we have a large collection of Lanceolate Cannabis strains.

The typical trait of our SWAG Strains, the non-serrated/smooth leaf edges also have been bred into our Lanceolate strains to form Apricot Delia or AD17 (Apricot Delia 17). Currently, we offer strains like Giant Crusader und Crusader Kush, which are Hybrids between our GPP and Apricot Delia populations. We are working towards offering a larger range of Lanceolate strains soon.

 5. Fernlike Cannabis Leaves (pinnate-palmate)

Freakshow Cannabis

Freakshow and Berryfreak belong to a group of Cannabis varieties with leaf mutation created by the Californian breeder's Shapeshifter and Dr Freak. This mutation was created by selective breeding, focussed on ever more intensifying leaf serrations. The resulting mutations mostly resemble ferns or vermouth in their appearance, yet still feature the typical amount of fingers. It is a fairly potent Cannabis line thanks to the amazing lineage: Pineapple Express x Holy Banana (Banana OG x Big Sur HolyWeed). The breeders of these Strains have put great effort and diversifying them into many lines and creating crosses with other potent and popular strains. Even experienced growers will struggle to identify these as Cannabis. In flowers, their smell is very strong and they form solid trichome covered buds.

In fact, we have collaboration with D Freak and work on lines together. So stay tuned amazing things are coming soon.

6. Variegated Cannabis

Pablo Picasso Variegated Cannabis

Variegated Cannabis refers to strains, which produce reduced amounts of Chlorophyll or have albino tissues. Several of our strains feature that trait, yet it has shown to be rather difficult to fully stabilize. These strains are primarily grown for their ornamental factor and their unique appearance. As most of our variegated strains are SWAG or Duckfoot lines, they further alter the appearance increasing their stealth factor drastically. Perfect to integrate into your ornamental flower garden. Even though highly beautiful and unique, this trait also has some disadvantages as white patches lack Chlorophyll, thus the more variegation is present the less vigorous the plants are. Additionally, slightly higher susceptibility to environmental factors is given. This doesn´t mean that these plants can´t become huge under the right conditions and care. And their beauty totally outweighs the downsides.

 A potential benefit, which should be further researched in the future is that as it seems, albino flowers feature a higher Cannabinoid and Terpenes content compared to their green counterparts as observed by US Growers, as well as in our own testing. Popular variegated strains are Pablo Picasso, Opalo SWAG, Trinidad Gold and more.

7. Crinkled Cannabis

Pablo Picasso Crested Gecko Crinkled Cannabis

Crinkled leaves often show together with variegations, so it seems that these mutations or are connected to each other, caused by similar gene variants. This doesn´t mean that a variegated plant will be crinkled or vice versa. From our perspective, the crinkled mutation is the least desirable as at times it entirely disfigures some plants, whereas some plants grow pretty much without any disadvantage. Crinkling is found in many of our strains in low percentages since we began to select variegated specimens. The Ugly Duck (Pablo Picasso Crested Gecko) is a strain that has been bred to stabilize the crinkling trait. Usually, The Ugly Duck Seedlings already start developing a loud terpene profile prior to any other variety, in the first days of growth.


It is to say that we are at the beginning of a new era where Cannabis will diversify greatly in terms of application and appearance. In many people minds, Duckfoot or Duckweb is still synonymous with one strain, yet it represents a group of Cannabis varieties based on their morphological leaf type. We have thousands of regular leafed varieties with a wide range of flavours. The same applies to Cannabis strains with different leaf types. There are already hundreds of Mutant varieties featuring all kinds of leaf morphologies, with the same vigour, potency and production capacity, if not even better. Most of which you in our Seed catalogue “TerpyZ Genetics X Kalyseeds”. Currently maybe not as stabilised as some of the OG Strains out there, but that might be even more interesting for some to run a proper Pheno-Hunt. Happy Hunting :)

Cannabis mutants


Brian Frainey

Brian Frainey

I’m stunned

Brian Frainey

Brian Frainey

I’m stunned

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