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
1 rating

Monday - August 25, 2008

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Leguminous deer-resistant groundcover
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help me identify a deer-resistant leguminous ground cover native to Central Texas to serve as a guard plant in edible-plant groupings.

ANSWER:

You will find a list of Deer Resistant native plants, many of which are native to Central Texas, on our Recommended Species page. The following leguminous (Family Fabaceae) plants grow in Travis and Williamson Counties and could qualify as groundcovers when they are present. Most of them, however, do not persist after they have bloomed and set seed. If you want a persistent deer-resistant member of the Family Fabaceae to surround your edible plants, perhaps you could ring it with small Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) plants.

Dalea aurea (golden prairie clover)

Dalea frutescens (black prairie clover)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Senna lindheimeriana (velvet leaf senna)

Senna roemeriana (twoleaf senna)

There are many other non-leguminous choices. For example, deer rarely eat members of the Family Lamiaceae (mint family) and there are several attractive grasses as well that deer do not browse. Here are a few suggestions:

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Scutellaria wrightii (Wright's skullcap)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Golden dalea
Dalea aurea

Black dalea
Dalea frutescens

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis



Twoleaf senna
Senna roemeriana

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Wright's skullcap
Scutellaria wrightii

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Canada wild rye
Elymus canadensis


More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer resistant, sun tolerant plants for landscaping
April 19, 2007 - I live in Driftwood and am looking for flowering, deer-resistant plants for the northern side of my house; however the house turn just enough to the west that the flowerbed receives about 3 hours of a...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for Central Texas
July 25, 2011 - I live in a community that is overrun with deer, thanks to neighbors who feed them daily. I am looking for TRUE deer resistant plants for beds...they have eaten my lantana, salvia, esperanza, jasmine...
view the full question and answer

Connecticut Plants for a Steep Slope
September 09, 2015 - I am looking for the best plants to retain a steep, dry, fully shaded slope in zone 5, Connecticut. It must be deer resistant. Plant height is not a factor.
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Plants for East Texas
March 29, 2010 - We have a lake house at Lake Cypress Springs, between Mt Vernon and Winnsboro, in East Texas. Can you suggest some deer-resistant plants/shrubs that have the potential to last? I understand deer wil...
view the full question and answer

Need a smallish evergreen shrub that deer do not like, native to Colorado.
August 12, 2010 - I live south of Denver Colorado. I am looking for an evergreen shrub that doesn't grow wider than 3 feet and not taller than 4 to 5 feet - something that is native to Colorado or grows well here. (...
view the full question and answer

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