En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - April 06, 2007

From: Mountain Rest, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Lupines for attracting deer in South Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in SC and was watching a TV show called "Making it Grow" and they did a segment on Lupine. The lady on the show said that the plant attracted whitetail deer and I was wondering if that was true...We are going to plant a food crop and was interested in the Lupine...Thanks for any help or advise you could give...


There are two species of Lupinus native to South Carolina, Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine) and Lupinus villosus (lady lupine). The former, L. perennis, is listed as being browsed by deer, but there is also a statement about its toxicity. Poisonous Plants of North Carolina lists them as "toxic only if large quantities eaten". Farm and Garden, an online gardening magazine, in their article, Lupine, reasons that the alkaloids in lupines will be a deterrent to deer eating them. Judging by the white tail deer and the bluebonnets in Texas, I would say that the deer may occasionally eat the bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis (Texas lupine), but it is not one of their major foods and not necessarily an attractant for them.

From your question it sounds as if you are interested in planting the lupines as a food plant for deer. If this is so, you would be better off with a variety of herbaceous plants and with shrubs and trees included in the mix. Deer are mainly browsers on various forbs (broadleaf herbaceous plants) in the spring, switching to leaves and twigs of trees and shrubs when the forbs are scarce. They also feed on mast (fruit, acorns, and seeds of woody plants). Here are a couple of sources for creating supplemental food to attract deer: Food Plots for White-Tailed Deer from Purdue University in Indiana and Attracting Deer to Forested Areas from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestery.




More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer resistant trees and shrubs for PA
May 05, 2011 - My yard backs up to woods, and we have a herd of 12 deer who peruse the neighborhood. This winter, the deer went after bushes and trees that they previously have not touched: euonomous and leyland cyp...
view the full question and answer

Is old fashioned Hollyhock deer resitant?
April 12, 2009 - Is Old Fashioned Hollyhock deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Identity of ball-shaped purple flower in Connecticut
July 13, 2015 - I am trying to identify a ball shaped purple/light purple flower with opposite leaves that look fern like. It has been in bloom since late May or early June. I have found it growing with what appear...
view the full question and answer

An evergreen, deer-resistant shrub for Memphis
July 24, 2013 - I need an evergreen, deep to partial shade, deer resistant shrub or tree. Does such a plant exist?
view the full question and answer

Is Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) deer resistant
May 13, 2008 - I visited a building in Austin, Texas today that had Star Jasmine out front. The man I was visiting said it is also called Confederate Jasmine. It smelled divine! I am wondering if it is deer resis...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center