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Friday - November 20, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistance of maple leaf viburnum in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Looking on the Texas Plant Information Database for Maple Leaf Viburnum, I don’t find any information about deer (whitetail or axis, southern edge of Edwards Plateau) resistance. Other sites give mixed messages. Can you advise?


From the USDA Plant Guide on Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum):

"Deer, rabbits, mice, skunks, ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasants, wild turkeys, and many species of songbirds eat the fruits of maple-leaf viburnum. Deer, moose, rabbits, and beavers eat the twigs, bark, and leaves. The relatively low-growing plants provide good nesting and escape cover for birds and small mammals."

We checked our list of Deer-Resistant Species, and found it did not appear on that list. We then looked at the USDA Plant Profile on where this plant grows naturally, and found that it is pretty well confined to "deep East Texas" on the border with Louisiana. From our own webpage on this plant, we noted that this plant likes a shaded woody area, with acid soil. That doesn't sound much like the Edwards Plateau, does it? 

It's a lovely plant, but it probably wouldn't do well here in the Austin area, although the deer and other wildlife would be delighted if you could plant it for them. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Viburnum acerifolium

Viburnum acerifolium

Viburnum acerifolium

Viburnum acerifolium




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