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?


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


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?


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

Evergreen privacy screen
August 10, 2015 - We are looking for a good plant(s) that would provide a privacy screen by our fence. We were looking at clumping bamboo (maybe black) because it grows quickly and it not too thick. The new plants woul...
view the full question and answer

How can I control field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)?
April 12, 2009 - I have identified my invasive as field bindweed. Your answer in FAQs has websites that are moving and I am unable to find out how to control this major problem. I use organics to garden. The recommend...
view the full question and answer

Silver ponyfoot becoming invasive in College Station TX
May 08, 2013 - How can I control or get rid of an established Dichondra groundcover? I bought a few plants of D. argentea from your sale a few years ago, and in that time they've done really well in the area I plan...
view the full question and answer

Poverty plant overgrown in Austin
June 06, 2012 - We have a poverty plant that is too big for its space in our yard. We like it and want to keep it. Can it be transplanted easily? What about pruning it.
view the full question and answer

Are These Plants Natives for Flower Mound, Texas?
September 24, 2010 - We are having our flower beds reworked and these are the plants that the company is recommending to plant. I would like to know if these plants are native to our area:pink muhly grass, lythrum, lorope...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center