Scientific name: Pycnanthemum incanum
Cover photo credit: Ted Bodner, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
“Endangered” means the species lives in the wild in Ontario but is facing imminent extinction or extirpation.
Date added to the Species at Risk in Ontario List
The Hoary mountain-mint was already assessed as endangered when the Endangered Species Act took effect in 2008.
Read the Assessment Report
What it looks like
Hoary Mountain-mint is a perennial herb that grows up to one metre in height. The stems and upper surfaces of the upper leaves have many fine white hairs which partly accounts for this species’ name.
The lower surfaces of leaves are also densely hairy. Leaves can reach five to ten centimetres in length and about 1.5 to 3.5 centimetres in width, and are sparsely toothed. They have a minty scent.
The flowers of the Hoary Mountain-mint are small, white, and purple-spotted and are clustered at the ends of stems and in the axils (where the leaves join the stem) of the leaves.
Where it lives
In Ontario, Hoary Mountain-mint mostly occurs in dry, oak woodland habitat, on steep, warmer-than-normal slopes.
The species does best in open areas with ample sunlight, in habitats that depend on disturbance such as fire to maintain these conditions.
Where it’s been found in Ontario
What threatens it
There are a number of threats to Hoary Mountain-mint including the succession of woody plants resulting from fire suppression, shoreline erosion, invasive species such as Tartarian Honeysuckle, European Buckthorn, Lesser Periwinkle, Norway Maple and Garlic Mustard, and small population size resulting in concerns over genetic issues.
Action we are taking
Endangered Species and their general habitat are automatically protected
A recovery strategy advises the ministry on ways to ensure healthy numbers of the species return to Ontario.
Read the executive summary (February 18, 2011)
Read the recovery strategy (February 18, 2011)
Government response statement
A government response statement outlines the actions the government intends to take or support to help recover the species.
Read the government response statement (November 18, 2011)
Five-Year Review of Progress
A five-year review reports on progress made toward protecting and recovering a species, within five years of publishing a species’ government response statement.
Read the report on progress towards the protection and recovery of 27 species at risk, including Hoary Mountain-mint (2016).
General Habitat Protection - June 30, 2008
What you can do
Report a sighting
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry tracks species at risk such as the Hoary mountain-mint. Report a sighting of an endangered animal or plant to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.
Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
Be a good steward
- Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Hoary mountain-mint on your land, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
- Hoary Mountain-mint depends on healthy oak woodland habitat. Healthy oak woodland is tied to healthy grassland habitats such as tallgrass prairie and oak savannah. In fact, many of Ontario’s species at risk rely on these rare habitats Learn more about these habitats, the species that depend on them, and what you can do to help at:
- Pollinators, such as bees, are in steep decline across the globe and they play a key role in the survival of many of Ontario’s rare plants. For information on how you can help scientists monitor pollinator populations in Ontario visit:
- Invasive species seriously threaten many of Ontario’s species at risk. To learn what you can do to help reduce the threat of invasive species, visit:
Report illegal activity
Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to
- Aboriginal people used Hoary Mountain-mint as a remedy for colds, fevers, digestive disorders, headaches, and heart troubles.
- Hoary Mountain-mint has responded positively to recent management actions between 2005 and 2007 that include prescribed burns and additional control of invasive native and exotic woody species.
- Hoary Mountain-mint is a very fragrant plant that is attractive to bees and known to produce high quality honey.
- Hoary Mountain-mint has very high natural rubber content.