Artemisia princeps in Western Europe
The genus Artemisia (Asteraceae) comprises of more than 500 species which are widely distributed, predominately in the Northern hemisphere. More than 20 species of Artemisia are considered global weed species. In parts of the EPPO region, Artemisia verlotiorum, native to China, is considered to be an invasive alien species. In August 2011, an Artemisia species was observed in the Antwerp port area in Belgium which resembled A. verlotiorum. However, individuals were flowering, two months earlier than the species normally does in Western Europe. Upon closer examination, the population in the port area, and another population 750 m away, were identified as Artemisia princeps, another species native to Asia (Far East). In the following years, the species was recorded from several additional locations in Belgium and the Netherlands. In Western Europe, habitats include roadsides, embankments, railway embankments, and rough ground, often in port areas, between 0 and 20 m altitude. In Asia, A. princeps is utilised for a number of purposes including for medicinal purposes, and as a culinary herb. The species may have been introduced into the region for these purposes or, as the species is found near entry points (ports), it could have arrived as a contaminant of goods. In its native range A. princeps is regarded as a ‘harmful weed’ in many regions of South East Asia, where it can dominate areas. In Belgium and the Netherlands, the species has been shown to form large monospecific stands and is capable of spreading via rhizomes and seed.
Verloove F, Andeweg R (2020) Artemisia princeps L. (Asteraceae), an overlooked invasive Far Eastern weed in Western Europe. Gorteria 42, 1-18.
Verloove F, Janssens SB, Andeweg R, Zooneveld BJM, Van der Beeten I (2020) Morphological, genome-size and molecular evidence for the presence of another invasive East Asian Artemisia (Asteraceae) in Western Europe. BioInvasions Records 9(4), 685–701, https://doi.org/10.3391/bir.2020.9.4.03