NEW DISTRIBUTION REPORT ON THE ALIEN SPECIES ARTEMISIA VERLOTIORUM LAMOTTE (ASTERACEAE-ANTHEMIDEAE) FROM GILGIT-BALTISTAN REGION OF PAKISTAN
Artemisia verlotiorum Lamotte (Asteraceae), a species described from Europe but native to East Asia is an alien and/or invasive species grow naturally in many European regions, North and South Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Western Asia. In continuance to our work on Northeastern Pakistani Artemisia, here we report the first local occurrence of verlotiorum Lamotte. from Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan by investigating its geographical distribution and phylogenetic analysis. To date, we have observed the species in stony landscapes of Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan. Phylogenetic analysis of Northeastern Pakistani A. verlotiorum with maximum likelihood approach using its internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and external transcribed spacer (ETS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) sequences showed its resemblance with other Artemisia species reported from different parts of the world. This species needs to be included in the rare plant species list in the flora of Pakistan and immediate conservative approaches should be adopted to impede its extinction from the country.