Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 01, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants resistant to white-tailed deer from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Could you tell me whether American Beautyberry and Blackfoot Daisy are usually eaten by our Austin white-tailed deer, or not? I get different answers in different publications. It would be great to hear the truth, one way or another, from you. I know deer will eat practically anything if desperate -- I just want to know what is normally the case. We live in northwest Austin. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Regardless of tail color, you should read this paragraph at the top of our Deer Resistant Species list:

"Deer Resistant Species

Few plants are completely deer resistant. Several factors influence deer browsing including the density of the deer population, environmental conditions such as drought, and plant palatability. Deer tend to avoid plants with aromatic foliage, tough leathery and/or hairy or prickly leaves or plants with milky latex or sap. Try using some of the plants listed here to minimize deer damage to your landscape."

Next, you follow each of the following links to go to our webpage on each plant. About halfway down that webpage you will find a section Benefits. Under that is a line on Deer Resistance.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) - no deer resistance

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) - high deer resistance

 

From the Image Gallery


American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Cutting Garden Plants for TN
July 16, 2014 - I would like to know what would be in a year round cutting garden in Nashville, TN for a novel I am writing.
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep bank in Pennsylvania
July 12, 2011 - What do I do with a very steep bank with hard clay soil to stop erosion and to look nice. Is there a ground cover that would help?
view the full question and answer

wildflowers with interesting seed heads for winter interest
January 09, 2015 - I am looking to establish a wildflower meadow this year, and I want to include wildflowers that have interesting seed heads for winter interest. What would be your recommendation? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Flowering ofPluchea odorata in Houston, TX
August 13, 2014 - I sprouted Pluchea odorata seeds this spring, but the plants seem too small to bloom this year. Although your website characterizes this plant as an annual, do you think it will survive the Houston wi...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pavilion over fountain in Washington State
December 26, 2008 - I have a tall fountain in a 7 foot square which is surrounded by pavers. Inside the 7' square there is about a 2' mulched soil bed around the center fountain and an iron type pavilion that goes up h...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.