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Do Deer Eat Ranunculus? (Answered)

No matter how cute and playful a deer might look, you would want to remember that these animals are ravenous eaters.

These herbivores could munch away plants from your garden until there are non anymore.

There are certain plants, however, that deer may not be as keen about and ranunculus might just be one of those.

Deer eat ranunculus

Deer do not eat ranunculus plants unless they are desperate and have no other food sources available. Ranunculus plants have a strong and acrid aroma, as well as taste, both of which drive deer away from the plant. The plant can be poisonous when eaten raw, causing health problems for deer.

Whether you want to keep deer away from your garden or want to keep the animal safe, it’s important to know how a deer might interact with a ranunculus and eat the plant after all.

You might have heard how ranunculus is a deer-resistant plant and we assure you that you have heard it right. When there are a few ranunculi in a garden, a deer might avoid coming to the area completely.

As with most strong aromas, Deer is repelled by the strong scent of this plant as well. Deer only eat plants that are mildly fragrant and taste somewhat pleasant. In the case of ranunculus, it is neither.

Being rarely attacked by a herd of deer, ranunculus can survive a deer’s bite since the toxicity of the plant can cause blisters and ulcers in the deer’s mouth, discouraging them to eat from the plant any further.

However, you may want to note that a deer can eat everything, including a ranunculus if it is hungry enough. When there is no other option for the deer to munch on, they could eat ranunculus.

Do deer eat ranunculus flowers and plants?

Since ranunculus is a plant that a deer would not fancy for dinner, if there are better food options available, deer do not go into the plant to eat much of it.

At most, they would gaze at the top of the plant and eat some of the leaves. However, blisters in the mouth of the animal, and the acetic taste and smell are all points for a deer to steer away from the plant.

A deer, when too hungry, might eat the flowers, although it is less likely. The flowers of ranunculus comprise a toxic juice. The compound in the flower breaks down to produce a poisonous fluid.

Other than that, ranunculus has stems that are thin, easily breakable, and hollow. Deer love to chew on items that are juicy and succulent. That is not the case with ranchland plants and hence they would avoid eating the plant.

Do deer like to eat ranunculus?

In most cases, a deer would deter away from a garden where you have a lot of ranunculi planted. This means that deer are not fond of eating a ranunculus plant.

Unless a deer has no other food source to curb its hunger, you would never see a deer enjoy eating ranunculus. This usually happens when the animal is in an area or garden where they find the plan

The equation is simple and a lot similar to how we humans treat food. If we like a portion of the food we have just eaten, we would serve and observes some more of it. Even so, on other days, we would crave the taste of that food. 

If we don’t like food, we never think about putting it inside our mouths that mostly repel them.

Deer do not like the strong aroma of the plant and that is what they can detect from miles away, thanks to their strong sense of smell.

The palate and texture of the Ranunculus plant are also something deer are not so fond of.

4 reasons why deer do/don’t eat ranunculus

Ranunculus is bitter:

Ranunculus is bitter, whether it is the leaves or flowers, or any other part of the plant.

A deer may have a nibble at the plant but most stop eating it henceforth because of the unpleasant taste in their mouths.

Ranunculus has an unpleasant smell:

What attracts or repels a deer from a plant is always more dependent on the plant’s scent than its taste.

A deer can smell plants from a distance and from that they either choose to dine in or run away. Ranunculus, with the unpleasantly bitter and strong scent itself, keeps deer away.

Leaves and fruits are rough:

Apart from the aroma of the plant, deer often eat plants that have smooth fruits, flowers, and leaves.

Once they have a bite of the plant, they would eat only the parts that are smooth in texture. The leaves as well as the fruits of the ranunculus plant feel hairy with a lot of fuzz!

Ranunculus makes a deer toxic:

Eating Ranunculus is not only an unpleasant experience to the senses of a deer but the plant also harms the health of a deer.

A deer may go through from severe diarrhea, blisters, and even stomach pains.

Is ranunculus deer resistant?

Ranunculus may be considered to be deer resistant, however, you may want to note that the plant is not 100% safe from a starving deer. On the scale of deer resistance, the ranunculus plant is one that scores decent marks since it is rarely destroyed by deer.

This implies that deer stay away from the plant and would rarely do much on the flowers, leaves, or other parts of the plant. What makes ranunculus a deer resistant plant is its strong aroma that signals any deer that is even miles away.

Deer, with their strong sense of smell, dislike such scents in any plant. Other than that, the plant is also acrid in taste, meaning the animal derives so satisfaction from its tastebud.

The texture on the other hand does not fair well because deer are attracted to plants that have smooth textures, unlike ranunculus plants.

Is Ranunculus poisonous to deer?

Ranunculus is considered to be toxic to many animals, including deer. The plant is labeled as poisonous particularly when eaten raw, which is exactly what deer do.

Ranunculus flowers comprise a sappy juice which can be quite detrimental to a deer’s well being since the juice is poisonous.

The leaves of the plant also contain a compound known as ranunculin. If this compound decomposes, it would produce a highly toxic oil called protoanemonin

Since the toxicity of the plant is high and can cause discomfort and blisters in the mouth as soon as a deer would try to chew it, oftentimes the animal would not swallow the plant remains.

While salivation, ulcers, and blistering remain in the mouth, once the plant is swallowed it can cause a lot of severe, oftentimes permanent health hazards for deer.

From colic pains to bloody diarrhea, a deer could even lose its life to ranunculus poisoning if it ingests too much of the plant.

What happens if a deer eats Ranunculus?

If a deer eats Ranunculus, given it is starving and cannot find a food source nearby, there are a lot of health consequences that the animal go through.

Due to the toxicity of the plant, here are a few symptoms that a deer may show for eating the ranunculus plant:

Blistering in the mouth:

One of the reasons that deer do not continue to eat parts of the ranunculus plant is because the toxicity and the acrid taste of the plant cause serious blisters in the deer’s mouth.

Blisters are a find of infection and can be quite painful to the deer as well.

Bloody diarrhea:

One of the more problematic effects that eating a ranunculus plant may have on a deer is bloody diarrhea.

This happens when the infection due to the plant toxicity inflames the intestines of the deer, causing bleeding of the intestines. This too is painful and can have long term health downsides.

Gastronomical troubles:

Although the sickness of the deer would largely depend on how much of the plant the animal had ingested, gastronomical troubles begin even with the smallest of amounts.

However, the deer could also go through mild to severe gastronomical pains and loss of appetite if it eats the ranunculus plant.

Severe salivation:

Along with blisters, deer can also go through severe salivation problems, right when they take a bite of the plant.

The salivating may continue for a while if bits and pieces of the plant remain in the mouth.

Final Thoughts

Ranunculus are considered to be deer resistant as they are rarely destroyed by the animal. This is because deer are repelled by the stout smell of the plant from distance away. The animal also dislikes the fuzzy texture of the leaves and the pungent taste of the plant. Ranunculus can be toxic to deer.