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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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Wednesday - April 07, 2010

From: Millville, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Are Hollyhocks deer resistant?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Are Hollyhocks deer resistant?

ANSWER:

Hollyhocks Alcea rosea  are popular ornamental plants that are thought to have been introduced into Europe from China and then later brought to North America (more images). Thomas Jefferson is said to have grown Hollyhocks at Montecello.

Since our focus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes, Hollyhocks are outside the area of our expertise.

However, if you go to our Special Collections page and click on Deer Resistant, you will find a list of native plants that deer tend to avoid. Although it is said that a hungry deer will eat anything.

Since Alcea rosea  is non-native, I wouldn't expect to find it on the list, but I did find four members of the family Malvaceae, the family to which A. rosea belongs, on the list. These are Turk's Cap Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow), Rosemallow Hibiscus lasiocarpos (rosemallow) , Rose Pavonia Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow), and Virginia Saltmarsh Mallow Kosteletzkya virginica (Virginia saltmarsh mallow).

From this one might infer that Hollyhocks are also deer resistant. I would suggest that you contact the folks at the Coopervative Extension of Cumberland County to see if they have any first-hand experience with this.

 

 

 

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