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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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Wednesday - February 23, 2005

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Native grasses and wildflowers to attract butterflies in Blanco Co., TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Could you please recommend (native, xeriscape, deer resistant) grasses and flowers that attract butterflies that can be grown in Blanco County?

ANSWER:

Here is a short list of plants native to Central Texas that meet your criteria for attracting butterflies, requiring little water, and being deer resistant.

Wildflowers: green milkweed (Asclepias viridis), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Texas thistle (Cirsium texanum), Turk's cap (Malvaviscus arboreus), butterfly bush (Buddleja marrublifolia), lantana (Lantana camara), cherry sage (Salvia greggii)

Grasses: purple three-awn ( Aristida purpurea) and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium).

You can find more information on the Wildflower Center web page about butterfly gardens by selecting Explore Plants from the side bar, next select Clearinghouse Publications, then Native Plant Library. You will find a 2-page PDF file titled "Butterfly Gardening" that you can download. You can also find a book, Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife by Noreen Damude and Kelly C. Bender in the Wildflower Center's Wild Ideas store that will give you more ideas about plants that attract butterflies. The Native Plant Society of Texas has a list of deer-resistant plants in Camouflage Gardening that not only gives deer-resistant plants that are native to Central Texas but also tells you why the deer avoid them.
 

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