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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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Wednesday - January 23, 2008

From: Dammeron Valley, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Deer Resistant, Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants that are deer resistant for high desert climate in Utah
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are building in a high desert climate in Dammeron Valley, Utah. We want plants that are both deer resistant and require little watering. Can you advise which plants (shrubs, flowers, cacti) that would be good to use?

ANSWER:

This is a tough assignment you have given Mr. Smarty Plants—deer-resistant, high desert plants. Cactus are ideal, of course, and we do have other suggestions for shrubs/small trees and herbaceous plants. Be aware that, except for the cactus, the other plants listed may be browsed by deer when conditions are tough. They are deer-resistant, not deer-proof.

CACTUS

Ferocactus cylindraceus (California barrel cactus)

Echinocereus triglochidiatus (kingcup cactus)

Opuntia basilaris (beavertail pricklypear)

Opuntia phaeacantha (tulip pricklypear)

Opuntia polyacantha (plains pricklypear)

YUCCA

Yucca baccata (banana yucca)

SHRUBS/TREES

Rhus trilobata (skunkbush)

Larrea tridentata (creosote bush)

Lycium andersonii (water jacket) (and a photograph of L. andersonii)

Juniperus osteosperma (Utah juniper) (and photos of J. osteosperma)

HERBACEOUS

Verbena bracteata (bigbract verbena)

Tetraneuris acaulis (stemless four-nerve daisy)

Penstemon palmeri (Palmer's penstemon)

Oenothera caespitosa (fragrant evening primrose)

Monardella odoratissima (mountain monardella)

 

From the Image Gallery


California barrel cactus
Ferocactus cylindraceus

Claret cup
Echinocereus triglochidiatus

Beavertail pricklypear
Opuntia basilaris

Tulip prickly pear
Opuntia phaeacantha

Plains prickly pear
Opuntia polyacantha

Banana yucca
Yucca baccata

Creosote bush
Larrea tridentata

Butte marigold
Tetraneuris acaulis var. acaulis

Palmer's penstemon
Penstemon palmeri

Tufted evening primrose
Oenothera caespitosa

Alpine mountainbalm
Monardella odoratissima

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