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Sunday - May 06, 2007

From: Colton, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant native plants for Oregon
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have 21 acres of timber property in Oregon. We are converting part of that property to residential and I would like to plant wild flowers. I want to make sure I only plants native to Oregon and wondered if you had any suggestions. Also, I would like some plants that are not likely to be eaten by deer as we have many deer in our area


Please realize that few, if any, plants can be called deer-proof. If the deer are having trouble finding their preferred plants, they will often eat plants that normally they wouldn't find palatable. Oregon State University Extension Service has a list of Deer-resistant Ornamental Plants, but you should be aware that many on the list are not native.

That said, here are some recommended plants native to Clackamas County, Oregon that are deer-resistant.

Aconitum columbianum (Columbian monkshood)

Aquilegia formosa (western columbine)

Iris tenax (toughleaf iris)

Oxalis oregana (redwood-sorrel)

Delphinium glaucum (Sierra larkspur) and Delphinium nuttallianum (twolobe larkspur)

Lupinus polyphyllus (bigleaf lupine), Lupinus latifolius (broadleaf lupine) and Lupinus bicolor (miniature lupine)

Trillium ovatum (Pacific trillium)

Plants in the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family) are generally avoided by deer. The following are members of that family that are native to Clackamas County:

Mentha arvensis (wild mint)

Stachys chamissonis (coastal hedgenettle)

Prunella vulgaris (common selfheal)

Scutellaria galericulata (marsh skullcap)

Monardella odoratissima (mountain monardella)

Here are a few other good candidates from the Family Asteraceae (Aster Family):

Senecio integerrimus (lambstongue ragwort) and Senecio triangularis (arrowleaf ragwort)

Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod) and Solidago simplex (Mt. Albert goldenrod)

You could experiment with other species that you commonly see in your area in abundance. Chances are the deer either don't much care for them or they produce so many plants the deer can't decimate them.

Aconitum columbianum

Aquilegia formosa

Iris tenax

Oxalis oregana

Delphinium nuttallianum

Lupinus latifolius

Trillium ovatum

Mentha arvensis

Stachys chamissonis


Prunella vulgaris

Scutellaria galericulata

Monardella odoratissima

Senecio integerrimus

Solidago canadensis



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