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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.

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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

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