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
1 rating

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 Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for gravesite in Maryland
March 13, 2013 - I know this is very unusual question but here I go. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and I am looking for a low ground cover for my grandparents grave. The soil is very sandy and I am looking...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcover for New Braunfels, TX
September 24, 2011 - Could you recommend some deer resistant ground cover plants for the New Braunfels area? We have tried Ajuga and Katie's Ruellia and they have been eaten.
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Massachusetts
March 21, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We are trying to kill poison ivy in shaded areas bordering our driveway and want to plant something quickly to replace it. There are many tall trees in this area, mainly pi...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen groundcover under pine tree in NY
May 23, 2008 - Hello! I live in upstate NY. I'm trying to find an evergreen ground cover to plant under a pine tree. I believe it's a white spruce (but I'm not postive). I've read conflicting information reg...
view the full question and answer

Native moss to fill in between flagstones
April 21, 2008 - I live in Houston and have a long, narrow flagstone path that runs along the east side of the house. I am looking for a native moss that can fill in between the flagstones and will tolerate morning su...
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