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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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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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Thursday - December 13, 2012

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Wildflowers
Title: Texas natives that attract butterflies but not deer
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I'd like to have some plants in my garden that are butterfly attractors, but that whitetail deer won't like. I can find lists of butterfly plants, and lists of deer-resistant plants -- is there a list that combines these two parameters in one list? I live just north of San Antonio city limits. Thank you.

ANSWER:

I do not know of a listing of just the properties that you desire.  But there are pertinent lists, such as the Landscapes Plants listing prepared by the City of Austin.  Deer-resistant plants are indicated in this extensive plant list, and in the Comments column those species frequented by butterflies are shown.  Shrubs, forbs, vines, and even grasses are included.  Some of those plants are listed below as descriptions from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database.  At the bottom of some of these descriptions you will find the species of butterflies that are drawn to the plant.

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana), Buddleja marrubiifolia (Woolly butterflybush),Malvaviscus arboreus (Turkscap),Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed), Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem), Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis), Gaura lindheimeri (Lindheimer's beeblossom), Packera obovata (Golden groundsel), Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower), Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage), Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)and Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower).  Images of these species are shown below.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

Turkscap
Malvaviscus arboreus

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Lindheimer's beeblossom
Oenothera lindheimeri

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

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