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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 15, 2012

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Wildflowers
Title: Deer and Drought Resistant Natives for San Marcus, Texas
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

Hi there, Do you have a list of plants and ground covers (deer/drought resistant) for the San Marcos area? Much as I love grass, it's impossible with this drought. I'd love to have lots of flowers and shrubs. Please advise.

ANSWER:

Let me suggest a couple of ways to choose the plants that you will like best for your location.

First, you can use our recommended species page. If you scroll down you will find a list of deer resistant (not deer proof, there's no such thing) species. Scroll further down on the recommended species page and you will find plants that are specifically recommended for central Texas including a list of species chosen for their drought tolerance.

The problem with his approach is that you end up with couple of very long lists. You can shorten the list by using the filters on the right side of the page to select such things as sun, soil chaacteristics, height, bloom color and bloom period that you prefer and are appropriate for your site.

Anoher approach is to use a list prepared by the horticulturists at the Wildflwer Center that they call the Texas All-Stars. There are thirty plants on this list that have proven to do well in central Texas and are generally avaiable at nurseries specializing in native plants. In the list below, you can clck on the link for each plant and look at its web page to determine its suitability for your site.

Here's the list:

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Asclepias asperula (Spider milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)

Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup)

Calylophus berlandieri (Berlandier's sundrops)

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Erigeron modestus (Plains fleabane)

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)

Glandularia bipinnatifida (Purple prairie verbena)

Lindheimera texana (Texas yellowstar)

Mahonia trifoliolata (Agarita)

Maurandella antirrhiniflora (Climbing snapdragon)

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy)

Nemophila phacelioides (Baby blue-eyes)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel)

Penstemon cobaea (Wild foxglove)

Phlox pilosa (Downy phlox)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Ranunculus macranthus (Large buttercup)

Rubus trivialis (Dewberry)

Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)

Tetraneuris scaposa (Four-nerve daisy)

Tradescantia gigantea (Giant spiderwort)

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

Yucca rupicola (Twistleaf yucca)

Here are a few pictures of the plants on the list that are specifically mentioned for their low water requirements and dear resistance:

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida

Agarita
Mahonia trifoliolata

Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Texas sacahuista
Nolina texana

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata



Four-nerve daisy
Tetraneuris scaposa

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