Deer-Resistant Native Plants

There are few deer-proof plants.  Many factors influence the extent of feeding by deer; the number of deer in the area, the availability of other food sources, winter weather conditions and plant preferences.  Deer may have different tastes depending on the area, and may eat young plants while leaving older ones alone.  Native plants co-evolved with deer and are often better able to withstand deer browsing, if they are eaten at all.  Protective barriers may be needed when plants are young.


Botanical name Common name
Achillea millefolium yarrow
Anaphalis margaritacea pearly everlasting
Artemisia spp. wormwoods
Asclepias spp. milkweeds
Eriogonum spp. wild buckwheats
Eriophyllum lanatum wooly sunflower
Gaillardia aristata blanketflower
Heterotheca villosa golden aster
Heuchera spp. alumroot, coral bells
Iris spp. iris
Linum lewisii blue flax
Lupinus spp. lupines
Monardella odoratissima coyote mint
Penstemon richardsonii cutleaf penstemon
Sedum spp.  stonecrop
Sphaeralcea munroana orange globemallow


Botanical name

Common name

Amelanchier alnifolia serviceberry
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi kinnikinnick
Artemisia spp. sagebrush
Chrysothamnus nauseous rabbitbrush
Clematis ligusticifolia Western clematis
Cornus sericea red osier dogwood
Lonicera ciliosa orange honeysuckle
Mahonia aquifolium tall mahonia
Mahonia repens creeping mahonia
Pachistima myrsinites mountain boxwood
Prunus emarginata bitter cherry
Prunus virginiana chokecherry
Potentilla fruticosa shrubby cinquefoil
Rhamnus purshiana cascara
Rhus glabra smooth sumac
Ribes aureum golden currant
Ribes cereum wax currant
Ribes sanguineum red-flowering currant
Rosa nutkana Nootka rose
Rosa woodsii Wood’s rose
Salix spp. willows
Salvia dorrii purple sage
Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea blue elderberry
Spiraea spp. spirea
Symphoricarpus albus common snowberry


Botanical name Common name
Abies spp. fir
Acer circinatum vine maple
Acer glabrum Douglas maple
Acer macrophyllum bigleaf maple
Betula occidentalis water birch
Crataegus douglasii black hawthorn
Juniperus spp. juniper
Larix spp. larch
Picea spp. spruce
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas fir
Thuja plicata Western red cedar

To check availability and other facts on our deer-resistant native plants, note the species name, then reference the appropriate plant category.


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