Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Saturday - December 06, 2014

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Forage plants for deer in Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Looking for best forage plants and seed for deer forage, Canyon Lake-New Braunfels, Tx. Have searched listings, but areas are NE or other and not relevant to my location. Your time much appreciated.

ANSWER:

Wildlife Forage Areas and Food Plots for Deer from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension says that deer feed primarily on forbs and browse (twigs and leaves of wood plants) and rely very little on warm-season perennial grasses that are important food for cattle.  They also feed on soft and hard mast (fruits such as plums, persimmons, berries and acorns) when available.  Unfortunately, none of the grasses and forbs that they list in their tables are natives.

Here are some warm-season forbs that are native to the Canyon Lake-New Braunfels area and are used by various wildlife:

Vicia ludoviciana (Louisiana vetch)

Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge pea)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Dalea purpurea (Purple prairie clover)

Simsia calva (Awnless bush sunflower)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

Desmanthus illinoensis (Illinois bundleflower)

You can find many of these offered at North American Natives.  They also have Native Mixes (grasses and wildflowers) that might be good choices.  All the seeds that they offer are native to Texas.

Some of the above native forage plants are also available at Douglas King Seeds.  They also have wildlife mixes, but please realize that the grasses and the majority of the forage plants in the mixes are NOT native plants.  Since our mission is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes", we would not recommend using these non-native mixes.

 

From the Image Gallery


Deer pea vetch
Vicia ludoviciana

Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata

Engelmann's daisy
Engelmannia peristenia

Purple prairie clover
Dalea purpurea

Awnless bush sunflower
Simsia calva

Maximilian sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani

Illinois bundleflower
Desmanthus illinoensis

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Do Salvia coccinea and Salvia occidentalis occur in Hawaii
April 27, 2008 - Aloha, Would you please happen to know if the salvia occidentalis and the salvia coccinea are growing in a wild state in Hawaii, the quantity (small or large areas? What are the weather conditions ...
view the full question and answer

Source for ground pine plants from Ligonier PA
December 21, 2012 - Where can I purchase "ground pine plants? I want to use them for erosion control.
view the full question and answer

Taking stock in where and what you grow in Denver Colorado
December 22, 2011 - I have two year old stock plants growing in a container in my home and they are finally starting to bloom. However, the buds open but don't produce any petals. Also they are experiencing yellow leave...
view the full question and answer

Weak stems on asters and ironweed from Woodbridge ON
June 06, 2012 - My question is in regards to plants flopping over. My smooth asters and ironweeds never seem to have strong stems. Is because the soil is too fertile or maybe too shallow?
view the full question and answer

Plants under an oak tree from Corpus Christi TX
June 30, 2012 - My project: To grow white turk's cap under an old oak tree I first planted St. Augustine sod this spring because we had many oak suckers around the tree. We mixed new soil and compost, and laid the ...
view the full question and answer

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