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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.

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Friday - December 21, 2007

From: Angel Fire, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer and rabbit resistant alpine plants for New Mexico
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What plants, including wildflowers, would you recommend for a somewhat windy, southeast exposure with rocky soil at 9150ft in Angel Fire, New Mexico, that are deer, rabbit, and chipmonk resistant? (I know, I'm a dreamer!)

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants has to agree that this is sort of a tough assignment. There are certainly deer and rabbit resistant native plants that grow in New Mexico, but the list narrows down considerably when they have to be viable at 9000 feet! The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has a list of Deer and Rabbit Resistant Plants and the town of Parker, Colorado also has a A Recommended List of Deer & Rabbit Resistant Plants. However, you do need to realize that some of the plants on these two lists are not native to New mexico or even North America. Also, many of the suggested plants wouldn't survive at 9000 feet.

Mr. SP has come up with this list of plants native to New Mexico that should be deer/rabbit resistant and capable of growing at 9000 feet. There is one caveat—these plants are "resistant" to grazing by deer and rabbits, there aren't any plants that are deer- or rabbit-proof. If environmental conditions become critical, deer and rabbits may eat plants that normally they would avoid. Also, for some of these plants, the animals may nibble on them a bit even in the best of times and then move on and not destroy them completely. As for chipmunks, we'll have to hope that they are equally repelled by the same plants as the deer and rabbits!

You can look for nurseries and seed companies that specialize in native plants in your area in our National Suppliers Directory.

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Aconitum columbianum (Columbian monkshood)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Artemisia cana (silver sagebrush)

Artemisia dracunculus (tarragon)

Artemisia frigida (prairie sagewort)

Castilleja integra (wholeleaf Indian paintbrush)

Cerastium arvense (field chickweed)

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus (Green rabbitbrush)

Delphinium ramosum (mountain larkspur)

Iris missouriensis (Rocky Mountain iris)

Machaeranthera bigelovii (Bigelow's tansyaster)

Mahonia repens (Oregon grape)

Potentilla concinna (Cinquesfoil)

Potentilla gracilis (slender cinquefoil)

Potentilla pensylvanica (Cinquefoil)

Ranunculus macauleyi (Buttercup)

Ribes cereum (Gooseberry)


Achillea millefolium

Aconitum columbianum

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Artemisia frigida

Castilleja integra

Cerastium arvense

Delphinium ramosum

Iris missouriensis

Machaeranthera bigelovii var. bigelovii

Potentilla gracilis

 

 

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