|Photo: Donald Kirk|
Features: Hoary Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum incanum) is a tall, perennial herb, with small white flowers arranged in dense clusters at the ends of 1 metre stems. Its broad leaves are hairy underneath and have a fragrant, minty scent. Oils and other botanical compounds present in members of the genus Pycnanthemum are valued in medical research and for a wide variety of other uses. In Ontario, the Hoary Mountain Mint grows in dry, sand and clay soils in partly shaded openings.
Status: Endangered Provincially and Nationally
Range: Hoary Mountain Mint is found throughout eastern North America, from southern Ontario south to Tennessee and Georgia and west to southeastern Missouri. In Canada, it is known from only two locations on a steep slope in Burlington, Ontario. These stands were discovered in the 1980s in an area in which the plant had been found originally many decades earlier.
Threats: This species is at risk from competition from nearby plants. Potential threats include trampling by hikers who wander away from a nearby trail, and accidental destruction resulting from soil-moving activities. Seed production does not appear to be taking place in the two Ontario stands, and reproduction is by vegetative means (i.e., runners). This fact, combined with the small size of the populations, places the species at additional risk in Ontario.
Protection: Hoary Mountain Mint is listed in regulation under Ontario's Endangered Species Act, 2007, which protects the species and its habitat. The Natural Heritage component of the Provincial Policy Statement under the Planning Act provides for the protection of significant portions of the habitat of species listed in regulation under the E.S.A. Ontario's Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program (CLTIP) will provide 100% tax relief to private landowners for the portion of their property (minimum size 0.5 acres) determined to be habitat of species in regulation under the E.S.A. The CLTIP program recognizes, encourages and supports private land stewardship. The two known populations of Hoary Mountain Mint occurring in Ontario are monitored annually by botanists.
Text Sources: Crins 1986; Crins 1989; White 1997
Last Modified Date: October 2008
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Royal Ontario Museum and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
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