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Elsholtzia ciliata

Biological Category 
Species Type 
Other Herbaceous
NY Invasiveness Rank 
Not Assessed
LHPrism Status 
Tier 2 - Emerging

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  • Crested late summer mint is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae).
  • A shallow-rooted annual in the mint family, Crested late summer mint, can grow up to three feet in height, given the right conditions. This strongly scented species is most conspicuous in late summer when plants produce distinctive one-sided spikes of pale blue flowers. (2)

Leaves are oppositely arranged along hairy stems, oval to lance shaped and one to three inches long with wrinkled to serrate margins. (3)

Flowers are pale blue, classic zygomorphic, tubular mint family flowers and appear in late summer through early fall on tall, one-sided spikes. (3)

Introduction History 
The first record of Crested late summer mint in North America dates back to 1887, although how and why it arrived here from its native Asia is not known. The species is now extant in at least thirteen states, although its potential expansion range covers many more. (1)
Ecology and Habitat 
Crested late summer mint prefers moist, freely-draining soil and is often found in exposed areas with gravelly or sandy soil such as railroad beds, vacant lots, and roadsides. In New York, this species has been found in exposed, disturbed riparian areas. (5)
Reproduction and Phenology 
Crested late-summer mint is pollinated by insects and appears to have very high rates of germination. (4) Vectors include mechanical dispersal via mammals, machinery, and other human activities. (4)
Impacts of this species 

Little is known about the ecological impacts of Crested late summer mint. In fact, by and large, the invasive status of this species is still under question. Several reports of this species aggressively colonizing areas across the Northeast and Midwest indicate Crested late summer mint could become a problematic invasive given time. The large, dense stands this species is capable of forming can cause alterations in the diversity and heterogeneity of the communities it invades. 

Management Methods 

Biological Control
There is no biological control agent available at this time. 

Manual or Mechanical Control
Pulling / Digging Up: No information available

Mowing: No information available. As a weak-rooted annual it is reasonable to assume pulling is effective on small populations. 

Girdling: Not applicable

Prescribed Fire: No information available

Prescribed Grazing: No information available

Soil Tilling: No information available

Mulching: No information available

Solarization: No information available

Hot Foam Spray: No information available

Chemical Control
The pesticide application rates and usage herein are recommendations based on research and interviews with land managers.  When considering the use of pesticides, it is your responsibility to fully understand the laws, regulations and best practices required to apply pesticides in a responsible manner.  At times, the pest you seek to treat may not be on a pesticide label, requiring a 2ee exemption from NYSDEC.  Always thoroughly read the label of any pesticide and consult the NYSDEC or a licensed pesticide applicator with questions.

Foliar Spray: A 1-2% foliar spray during growing season is probably effective. Always read and follow all directions on the herbicide label and take care when applying in wet areas. 

Cut Stump: Not applicable

Basal Bark: Not applicable

Stem Injection: Not applicable

Pre-Emergent Spray: No information available

Summary of Best Managment Practices 

As with any other invasive infestation complex, Crested late summer mint is best managed via a combination of mechanical and chemical means.  All managed infestations should be monitored for at least one year to manage any germination of new seedlings that occurs. As management of this species is still under study, be careful to prevent the spread of seed by practicing boot brushing.  

Post treatment monitoring
Controlled populations should be revisited for several years to ensure no germination of new seedlings has occurred. 

Disposal Methods