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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - August 10, 2014

From: Tobyhanna, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Will deer eat bellflowers?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are deer attracted to the bellflower? Will they eat it?

ANSWER:

There are three species of plants with the common name "bellflower" that are native to Pennsylvania and although none of these are on our Deer Resistant Species list, I did find this information about them from the internet:

Campanulastrum americanum (American bellflower) is listed on Native Trees and Plants as "Deer Resistant" and is also on a list Deer Resistant Native Riparian Plants from LMOA Lake Health Education Group, Virginia.

Campanula rotundifolia (Bluebell bellflower) is listed on Maryland's Behnke's Nursery's Planting a Garden to Discourage Deer and on the Prairie Nursery site.

Campanula aparinoides (Marsh bellflower)  I could not specific reference to this species being deer resistant.

I did, however, find this article from SFGate, Are Campanula Deer-Resistant? that says:

"Bellflowers are classified as Level C, which means that they are occasionally severely damaged by deer. In general, deer will not munch on this plant if better options for food exist nearby. Very hungry deer, however, will not hesitate to chomp down on the leaves and flowers of the delicate campanula."

Indeed, with any plant listed as "Deer Resistant" one needs to realize that although deer will avoid them most of the time, they will eat them if they become hungry enough.

 

From the Image Gallery


American bellflower
Campanulastrum americanum

Bluebell bellflower
Campanula rotundifolia

Marsh bellflower
Campanula aparinoides

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