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Re: Shade, Gopher Resistance

I imagine finding plants that do well in shade is the hard part of your task.  I would try keeping the gophers well fed on poisonous gopher bait.
One might look for plants in the Colchicaceae family - Gloriosa is probably one that would tolerate a bit of shade.  The best example, Colchicum, is, however, a sun-lover.
Generally, one should look for lists of poisonous plants (like euhporbs), and try to find among them plants that both do well in shade and have flowers.
Cestrum and Brugsmansia are said to be poisonous, but I don't know about the roots.  Aconitum is said to have poisonous roots.
Dicentra, Rhododendron, and Ziagademas are all said to have poisonous roots, although Zigademas may have a hard time in the shade.
Just becase the roots may be poisonous to humans and catle, is, however, no guarantee that gophers will avoid them.  They will certainly avoid Cochicum, the sun-lover.  Maybe one has just to experiment  - plant something that should upset their sotmachs and see if they avoid it.
Richard Starkeson
San Francisco
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

On 11/6/2005 at 8:00 PM p.k.peirce@att.net wrote:
I have been asked to select plants for color in beds around a small patio that has part-shade and shady sides. The garden has gophers, and the gardener says he wants to plant things they don't much like and plant in wire baskets, having given up on controlling them. The garden is in a foggy part of Sunset's zone 17 in California.
I have found several lists of plants gophers prefer not to eat on the internet, including the followiing:
(my program has subsumed the real underscores into the underscore that makes this site clickable, but they are there, in all of the blank spaces, so I assume this will work.)
On the list, which is from Sunset Magazine in July 2003, are the following plants that I thought might be OK in this setting and that the gardener might like:
Narcissus, Heuchera, Foxglove, Fuchsia, Nandina, Hydrangea, Vinca, ferns, and fibrous begonias.
From other lists, I gleaned Agapanthus, which I think would be OK on the sunnier side of the patio. I was thinking of A. inapertus, or maybe the variegated leaved ones, grown mainly for the leaves.
My question is whether others in the group have experiences with growing these particular plants in gopher-infested gardensn or have other suggestions for this location? I also wonder if there are particular species or cultivars of these plants that are better at surviving gophers than others. For example, which Fuchsia, which ferns, and are other begonias likely to work, or only the little fibrous-rooted edging ones? How about Begonia 'Richmondensis'?
I know there are a lot of other plants gophers often don't bother, and in fact, in sunnier parts of this garden there are lavender, avocado, lemon, a huge naturally shaped Buxus, and naked ladies, all growing unmolested, but my particular interest at this point is plants for the shadier patio area.
Pam Peirc
San Francisco, CA
Sunset 17, UDSA 10

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