Pacific coast bulbs deer don't favour?

Jane McGary
Fri, 20 May 2005 16:45:25 PDT
Diane Whitehead asked,
>I have been asked for a list of Pacific coast bulbs that would be hardy 
>here and would not be sought out by deer and rabbits.  This is for the 
>front entrance of a public garden.
>No to erythroniums, lilies, alstroemerias.
>Yes to most alliums
>What about Brodiaea, Triteleia, Calochortus, Fritillaria?

I can certainly comment from recent experience; there's a herd of 5 deer 
hanging out here, and I no longer have a dog I can trust loose -- only the 
fence-leaping youngster remains, the old fellow having just died of cancer. 
And that experience is all bad: deer eat brodiaeas, triteleias, 
calochortus, and fritillarias with great appetite. They even stick their 
nasty heads into the bulb frames and nip off the flowering stems.

However, they seem NOT to eat Camassia, which Diane didn't mention, but 
it's quite ornamental, and they've also ignored Dichelostemma capitatum 
(though they eat D. ida-maia). The latter is growing among some alliums, 

Planting palatable bulbs among unpalatable plants seems to help them 
survive deer attacks, and so I've left a lot of volunteer foxgloves around 
my lilies this year. I can't understand why the deer don't eat the ACRES of 
fresh grass and shrubs  on my property, and instead head straight for the 
bulbs and roses. The latter must have some special nutritional value they 

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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