Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 - October 08, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Is straggler daisy deer resistant from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is straggler daisy (horseherb) deer resistant? We have lots of deer in our NW Hills, Austin neighborhood, and a lot of shade where not much will grow. Is that plant a good candidate for ground cover where there are deer?

ANSWER:

Please follow this plant link, Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy), to our webpage on it, where you will learn it is a fast-growing, nice low ground groundcover that can tolerate moderate foot traffic. It is native to Travis County, according to this USDA Plant Profile Map, so that means it should not use too many resources, like water, and certainly not fertilizer. What you will not learn is whether or not it is deer resistant, because we don't know. We have a deer-resistant species list, and you should read this statement:

"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."

However, this is a very sturdy plant, easily spread to the point that many gardeners consider it a weed. We could hope that either it will be so low that the deer won't eat it, or they won't be able to eat it faster than it can spread. Even so, they will be eating something that you didn't have to spend a lot of money on, or a lot of time caring for it. We would think it would be worth a try, at least distracting the deer from plants that are more valuable to you.

 

From the Image Gallery


Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

More Deer Resistant Questions

Specifications for a property in Corning CA
March 29, 2012 - Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Holly after Deer Browse
January 16, 2010 - Deer have been eating my Holly Bushes. Can I prune now in January? I live in the North of New Jersey. Will they come back fuller? I just planted them in spring last year. How can I get them fuller
view the full question and answer

Are there plants that are resistant to axis deer?
November 07, 2013 - Greetings! I live about 10 miles south of Kerrville, Texas, toward Medina. I wish to begin planting more natives on a plot we have recently purchased. Some plants will go inside a fence that deer...
view the full question and answer

Do Deer Eat Orchid Trees?
March 08, 2013 - I have planted three anacacho orchid trees, however we have a lot of deer around us. Is this a tree they will want to eat? Do you have any ideas to keep deer away?
view the full question and answer

Arizona centaury near Lost Maples from Austin
November 05, 2012 - I found a clump of Arizona centaury growing/blooming beside a road near Lost Maples State Nat. Area in the Texas hill country last week. Centaurium calycosum is the scientific name. I have 2 questio...
view the full question and answer

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