Contact Us Host an Event 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

Friday - April 06, 2007

From: Mountain Rest, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Lupines for attracting deer in South Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in SC and was watching a TV show called "Making it Grow" and they did a segment on Lupine. The lady on the show said that the plant attracted whitetail deer and I was wondering if that was true...We are going to plant a food crop and was interested in the Lupine...Thanks for any help or advise you could give...

ANSWER:

There are two species of Lupinus native to South Carolina, Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine) and Lupinus villosus (lady lupine). The former, L. perennis, is listed as being browsed by deer, but there is also a statement about its toxicity. Poisonous Plants of North Carolina lists them as "toxic only if large quantities eaten". Farm and Garden, an online gardening magazine, in their article, Lupine, reasons that the alkaloids in lupines will be a deterrent to deer eating them. Judging by the white tail deer and the bluebonnets in Texas, I would say that the deer may occasionally eat the bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis (Texas lupine), but it is not one of their major foods and not necessarily an attractant for them.

From your question it sounds as if you are interested in planting the lupines as a food plant for deer. If this is so, you would be better off with a variety of herbaceous plants and with shrubs and trees included in the mix. Deer are mainly browsers on various forbs (broadleaf herbaceous plants) in the spring, switching to leaves and twigs of trees and shrubs when the forbs are scarce. They also feed on mast (fruit, acorns, and seeds of woody plants). Here are a couple of sources for creating supplemental food to attract deer: Food Plots for White-Tailed Deer from Purdue University in Indiana and Attracting Deer to Forested Areas from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestery.

.

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer-resistant plants for Maryland
August 23, 2008 - Hello- I have a acre that is mostly full-sun (and no shade on the house) and part shade (edge of the yard) and not much in between. It is also overrun with hungry deer! I am having a hard time finding...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant ground covers
November 29, 2007 - Are there any deer resistant ground covers? Our asiatic jasmine has been eaten up by the deer.
view the full question and answer

Recommendation for variety of St. Johnswort (Hypericum spp.)
April 14, 2008 - Hi. Can you please recommend a variety of St. Johnswort for my yard in the Texas Hill Country? The planting bed is on a southern side of the house, and is shielded from afternoon sun by a tree. The ar...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant shrubs for Michigan
January 28, 2009 - I live in deer country. I'm looking for shrubs that are attractive to birds but not to deer. Our soil is sandy. I have a part sun, part-shade situation. I live in zone 6, two miles east of Lake Michi...
view the full question and answer

Native shrub for Chesterfield VA
April 02, 2014 - Need a native shrub for the north side of our house that is deer resistant, not overly sensitive to wind, and can tolerate clay soil. Preferably 3-8 feet. Thanks for your help.
view the full question and answer

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