Unless otherwise noted, food listings on this page are supported by photographic and/or video documentation of foods eaten by groundhogs within our observation area. Photographs and video footage are shot through the windows of our house. This list is a work in progress which will be updated as additional foods are documented. Most grasses, which make up a significant portion of the woodchuck diet, would be too difficult to identify for inclusion.
The best evidence we’ve gathered is from images where the food is in the woodchuck’s mouth.
In other cases foods eaten is the most likely scenario. An example of this would be seeing a groundhog with it’s head down eating in a yard of clover flowers. While the clover is not seen in the mouth of the groundhog, it is most likely being eaten.
Plant parts eaten may have been observed but are without photo or video documentation and haven’t been listed. An example of this would be phlox where the leaves have been listed but not the flower.
Identification of a plant eaten may be known because we planted it, like this hollyhock.
In other cases, we’ve not been able to identify plants being eaten. (See the Unidentified Plants Eaten by Woodchucks section)
In 2010, a female named Gwynnie was observed drinking water from the leaves of Hosta and periwinkle plants. It is widely reported that groundhogs don’t drink water but obtain fluids from the juices of plants eaten. An assumption that Gwynnie was eating rather than drinking could easily have been made had these observations of her activity been viewed from a different location that didn’t reveal she was drinking. With this in mind, we are cautious in making statements about foods eaten.
1. Clover flowers-Trifolium spp.
2. Daylily leaves-Hemerocallis spp.
3. Phlox leaves-Phlox spp.
4. Snap Dragon Rocket flowers-Antirrhinum majus
Garden Snap Dragon, flowers, leaves Antirrhinum spp.
5. Marigold flowers, leaves-Tagetes spp.
6. Spiderwort leaves-Tradescantia virginiana
7. Old Gold Juniper leaves-Juniperus x pfiteriana
8. Hosta (Plantain Lily) flowers-Hosta spp.
9. Wood Sorrel greens-Oxalis strica
10. Dandelion flowers, leaves, and stems-Taraxium officinale
11. Hollyhock leaves-Alcea spp.
12. Russian Olive leaves-Elaeagnus angustifoli
13. Oak Nuts (Acorns)-Quercus spp.
14. Petunia flowers-Petunia spp.
15. Gazania flowers, leaves-Gazania spp.
16. Moss Rose flowers-Portulaca grandiflora
17. Begonia flowers-Begonia spp.
18. Plantain leaves-Plantao major
19. Yew leaves-Taxus spp.
20. Snow on the Mountain leaves-Aegopodium podagraria
21. Dahlia flowers, leaves, dead stalk-Dahlia spp.
22. Catnip leaves-Nepeta cataria
23. Wild pea flowers, leaves-Lathyrus spp.
24. Milkweed leaves-Asclepias
25. Henbit deadnettle leaves-Lamium spp.
26. Black Medic leaves-Medicago lupulina
27. Chinese Wisteria flowers-W. sinensis
(Hilde Depauw, video, 2020)
28. Motherwort greens-Leonurus cardiaca
29. Bedstraw-Galium spp.
30. Hairy Bittercress-Cardamine hirsuta
31. Viola spp
32. Common Purslane, Portulaca oleracea.
33. Wild grapes-Vitis spp.