En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Wednesday - May 02, 2012

From: LaRue, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover and Butterfly attractants for LaRue Texas
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

LaRue, TX - Would like a native low growing plant as a groundcover. I would like it for six+ hours of sun, drought tolerant, and ones that butterflies might enjoy, while deer won't. Some winter interest. A tall order I know. Thanks

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants got lucky and was able to find three separate answers in the archives for groundcover for a sunny location in LaRue Texas - - Can you believe it!!

So I’m going to get lazy and merely link those three answers to you then comment on whether the recommendations are ones the butterfies would enjoy and/or that the deer won’t go for easily!  That is, as you said, a really tall order.

Anyway – First check out these three question and answer pairs:
Groundcovers for East Texas [LaRue].
Groundcover for a Sunny Location [LaRue, quite similar as they also want attractants!]
Groundcovers for East Texas.
And,  while I’m at it, here is a similar question from Paris, TX and one from Nacogdoches

Butterfly gardening is covered quite well in this “How to” article.  It is also listed in the plant record under  “Benefit”, this place is also where you can see if they are considered deer resistant.

Groundcovers from the previous answers that are also listed as butterfly attractants are  Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy), Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit), Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage), Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup), Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower), Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle)   [Some of these are vines rather than classic groundcovers]. 

Groundcovers listed as deer resistant include:   Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose), Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly), Allium canadense (Meadow garlic)

Also, Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit), Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage), Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba (Poppy mallow), Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa (Four-nerve daisy), Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower) are listed as moderately deer resistant.   As most of these are also listed as butterfly attractants, they are probably the best we can find for you in fitting your requirements!   I've put some pictures of these in the photo gallery below! 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Poppy mallow
Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba

Four-nerve daisy
Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa

Four-nerve daisy
Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa


More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Is Passiflora 'Purple Haze' a host to Gulf Frittilary butterflies?
September 14, 2011 - Is the passion flower purple haze (pasionaria purple haze) a host plant to gulf frittilary butterflies as is the passiflora incarnata passion flower?
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants for Albuquerque.
July 01, 2012 - Hello, I live in Albuquerque. I am looking for some native/xeric low water usage plants for foundation plants for my home. They will be foundation plants for a two story home that has a large ponde...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Daisy Girl Scout native plants project
December 13, 2013 - Hello, I am a daisy Girl Scout leader and we are working on one of our Journeys and Native Plants Patch Program which requires our group of 5-6 year old girls to plant and care for a mini-garden. ...
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
view the full question and answer

How to grow milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) for monarch butterflies
March 31, 2010 - I tried and tried and tried to grow Asclepias viridis, A. asperula and even A. oenotheroides from seeds and even tubers for fourteen years! Do you have advice for growing these and other milkweed plan...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center