Keeping in mind that under current population pressure no plant species is truly deer proof, these are our recommendations for deer resistant native plants: Grasses, Sedges and Rushes. Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), common milkweed (A. syrica) and swamp milkweed (A. incarnata) have a sticky, milky sap that often deter deer. Milkweed plants all contain a cardiac glycoside and are poisonous so deer usually do not bother them. They may be unsightly, but do not seem to harm the plants. This is a different feeding pattern from that of monarch caterpillars, which unless they are large or starving, munch on the sides of the leaves, leaving the hard central leaf vein intact. Showy milkweed is listed as a threatened species in Iowa. If necessary wash them off with water or put on a pair of gloves and gently squish them. Deer and rabbits have been reported to eat milkweed leaves, and there are many other insects that feed on milkweed such as milkweed bugs, tussock moths, queen butterfly larvae, and more. Despite milkweed's toxicity, there are many creatures other than monarchs that eat the leaves of this amazing plant. Detractors of Butterfly Weed point out that it doesn’t contain the toxic cardenolides that protect Monarchs from … If it doesn’t, then it’s Butterfly Weed. When their favorite foods are gone, they will eat whatever remains, even toxic plants such as milkweed. These host plants for Monarch butterfly caterpillars also have beautiful flowers that attract many other butterflies and pollinators . : Milkweed contains toxic alkaloids and cardenolides, which can cause nausea and vomiting in low doses, and death in high doses. Many deer coming in close contact at a feeding station is much different than many deer spread out across a field searching for left over corn after a field has been harvested. The Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetraophthalmus) is a red longhorned beetle with black spots that chews off the tips of milkweed leaves. It is a great host plant for many beneficial insects including Monarch butterflies, bees, beetles, a… Status. The Spruce / Letícia Almeida Catnip is perhaps the best-known of the catmint plants. Monarch caterpillars capitalize on this toxic trait because once the milkweed is ingested the caterpillars also taste bad. One of the best ways to tell if a milkweed in question is tuberosa is to break off a leaf and see if milky latex pours out. Catnip's botanical name is Nepeta cataria, which means it is a type of catmint.. Catnip is a long-blooming perennial that grows 2 to 3 feet tall and has white flowers that bloom from May to September. Not surprisingly, antelope-horn is normally deer resistant and livestock also tend to leave it alone because of the bad taste. In most regions showy milkweed is considered a Milkweed is a drought-tolerant and deer-resistant perennial plant named for its milky latex sap. Aphids will appear on almost all milkweed plants. Asclepias is a genus of herbaceous, perennial, flowering plants known as milkweeds, named for their latex, a milky substance containing cardiac glycosides termed cardenolides, exuded where cells are damaged. Animals avoid milkweed if other forage is available. Botanically speaking, any plant listed as being in the Nepeta genus is considered to be a catmint.