Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Soapberry suckers in Austin
July 23, 2011 - Western Soapberry. Cut it down many months ago. Now I have baby trees all over the lawn. Are these the berries or are they coming from roots even though some sprouts are quite a distance away. I pul...
view the full question and answer

Can a mustang grape and an oak coexist in Austin
November 04, 2009 - I have a healthy mustang grape vine growing on an oak in my yard. While the vine provides plenty of good food and a pleasant environment for many birds throughout the year, I feel it is overtaking the...
view the full question and answer

How to eliminate roadside thistles
May 26, 2015 - When we drive along the highway we see lots of wildflowers and no thistles in the median. How does the Highway Department keep the thistles out? Here in Kerrville, we are overwhelmed by thistles thi...
view the full question and answer

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
July 02, 2014 - Foxglove (digitalis purpurea) is not a native U.S. plant. It was introduced to the U.S. from Europe and is now considered invasive in many parts of the western U.S. It invades our forested wild land...
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing native Celastrus scandens from non-native C. Orbiculatus from Lexington MA
June 08, 2014 - Dear Mr. Plants, I maintain a wildflower garden with the Lexington Field and Garden Club in Lexington, Massachusetts. Every year, I pull up sprouts of Celastris orbiulatis. I want to plan...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.