En Español

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 02, 2009

From: Fredericksburg, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistance of peonies in Virginia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are peony's deer resistant - I'm in Virginia

ANSWER:

There are 2 members of the Paeonia genus native to North America. Neither of them appear on our Deer Resistant Species list. Also, neither Paeonia brownii (Brown's peony) nor Paeonia californica (California peony) are native to Virginia. So, we're thinking you are asking about Paeonia lactiflora, which is native to Siberia, China and Japan. It is the large, showy flower you usually think of when you consider peonies.  At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are focused on the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. We are asked many, many questions about deer resistant plants, and our simple answer is there aren't many.

In trying to find some more information for you, since we have none in our Native Plant Database, of course, we found a site from a Deer Resistant Landscape Nursery that made some positive comments about the deer resistance of peonies. Another site from Northern Gardening.com with positive comments was Got a Deer Problem?

On the other hand, quoting from our own Deer Resistant Species list:

"Few plants are completely deer resistant. Several factors influence deer browsing including the density of the deer population, environmental conditions such as drought, and plant palatability. Deer tend to avoid plants with aromatic foliage, tough, leathery and/or hairy or prickly leaves or plants with milky latex or sap."

Final answer: Who knows?


Paeonia brownii

Paeonia californica

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Native, deer-resistant evergreen trees for Rhode Island
March 17, 2008 - What deer proof evergreens can I plant in RI that may make nice xmas trees in a few years?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistance of non-native Loropetalum
April 01, 2008 - I love Loropetalum (Plum Delight). Is it Deer Resistant?
view the full question and answer

Deer-proof native plants
May 14, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Can you recommend some Deer-proof native plants including shrubs and flowering plants?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Toronto, Ontario
March 02, 2009 - What are the native trees and shrubs that are resistant to deer browsing and rubbing?
view the full question and answer

Junipers for restoring area in Bulverde TX
November 03, 2012 - Are ashe or virginiana junipers for sale around the hill country? I would like to recreate the natural plant life that was bulldozed next to my home. Do you recommend any other types of juniper that ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center