En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - August 23, 2009

From: Tippecanoe, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Invasive native mint in Tippecanoe OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a problem with Mentha Arvensis, I raise sheep and goats and they will not eat this. The mint is starting to take over my 65 acre farm,Q.What is best way to rid this plant so I do not lose my grazing fields?

ANSWER:

Mentha arvensis (wild mint) is one of the very few mints native to North America and the mints, can, indeed be invasive. Your sheep and goats are smart not to eat it. From the Conditions Comments on our Native Plant Database page on this plant:

"Warning: The fruit of this plant is toxic and may be fatal if ingested in large quantities. It is especially dangerous to children, who may mistake the fruit for grapes. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual"

The plant is native not only to Ohio but to the area in and around Harrison County, so you are kind of stuck with it. It likes moist conditions and part shade. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends neither for nor against herbicides, and in this case, that would be difficult. You would have to spray the whole field with a broad-leaf plant, or dicot, herbicide, hoping to preserve the grasses, or monocots, that the livestock could actually graze on. To do that, you would probably have to remove your stock to some other location, and you could never be absolutely sure you had eradicated the wild mint. This problem is the kind of thing that state agricultural universities are trained to handle, and you can contact some experts through the Ohio State University Extension Office-Harrison County. Since this plant is both native to your area and invasive, as well as having poisonous parts, this is surely not the first time the Extension Office has dealt with the problem. Hopefully, they will be prepared to offer you a solution you can work with.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery


Mentha arvensis

Mentha arvensis

Mentha arvensis

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Is Early May OK for Roguing Bastard Cabbage?
March 28, 2013 - Hi Smarty:) I'm trying to determine the window for seed set for bastard cabbage. I'm hoping to get about 250 volunteers out to remove it but the date is schedule in early May. Judging by the infl...
view the full question and answer

Splitting bark on non-native mimosa from Buda TX
June 24, 2012 - What would cause my Mimosa tree to have splitting bark. I've only lived in this house for 8 months and am learning about this tree. The other tree seems fine. It looks as though it split and then ...
view the full question and answer

Nutgrass in Lakeway TX Habiturf
September 30, 2012 - I just installed a new septic system with drip field. Planted habiturf over the whole area. The habiturf is doing good, but I was away for a while and the nut grass has taken over several areas. It s...
view the full question and answer

Where is marijuana plant native?
April 03, 2005 - In what part of the world is the marijuana plant native?
view the full question and answer

Native vs. Invasive Experiment
July 01, 2008 - I asked you earlier about my group's experiment on native vs. invasive plants in Valdosta. Here are what we chose to work with..native: spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) and invasive: wild taro (Col...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center