Species At Risk

Hoary Mountain-mint

(Pycnanthemum incanum)


Hoary Mountain-mint
Hoary Mountain-mint occurrences map


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.

Action we are taking:


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.


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.


Hoary Mountain-mint and its habitat are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. This species also receives protection under the federal Species at Risk Act.

What You Can Do to Help the Hoary Mountain-mint

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Hoary Mountain-mint . You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Hoary Mountain-mint on your property, 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 www.tallgrassontario.org.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • 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: www.seeds.ca/proj/poll.
  • 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: ontario.ca/invasivespecies; www.invadingspecies.com; www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca; and, www.invasivespecies.gc.ca.

Did you know?

Aboriginal people used Hoary Mountain-mint as a remedy for colds, fevers, digestive disorders, headaches, and heart troubles.

Did you know?

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.

Did you know?

Hoary Mountain-mint is a very fragrant plant that is attractive to bees and known to produce high quality honey.

Did you know?

Hoary Mountain-mint has very high natural rubber content.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.