Wild plants play an important role in non-traditional fodder producing plants. Therefore, eight common plant species of Asteraceae were collected from four different localities of Quetta at two different growth stages viz., vegetative and flowering. The plant material (particularly leaf) was shade dried and ground them into fine powder. Thereafter they were analyzed for mineral nutrients viz., N, P, K, Na, Zn and Mn following standard procedures. Results showed that different plant species at both the growth stages did significantly produced different amount of total mineral nutrients viz. sum of N, P, K, Na, Zn, and Mn. Statistically maximum amount of total mineral nutrients (65.66 mg g-1) were produced by Seriphidium quettense (Podlech) Ling, Bull. Relatively minimum (45.02 mg g-1) amount of the total mineral nutrients was observed on Achillea wilhelmsii C. Koch. This amount for the remaining six plants was in an order of Hertia intermedia Boiss > Echinops griffithianus Boiss > Carthamus oxycantha M. Bieb > Centaurea iberica Trev.ex Spreng > Acroptilon repens (L.) Hidalgo > Conyza bonarensis (L.) Cronquist, respectively. Results also showed that generally vegetative growth stage produced 7.74% greater amount of total mineral nutrients overall in all the studied Asteraceae species [except Seriphidium quettense (Podlech) Ling, Bull] over than their respective reproductive growth stage. Statistically overall maximum increase (13.84%) in mineral nutrients was produced by Achillea wilhelmsii C. Koch. While minimum (1.81%) for the same is recorded for Centaurea iberica Trevir. ex Spreng. Therefore, based on the highest concentration of total mineral nutrients, Seriphidium quettense (Podlech) Ling, Bull; Hertia intermedia Boiss, and Echinops griffithianus Boiss of Asteraceae are respectively recommended as forage and fodder for feeding of ruminants particularly at their vegetative growth stage.

Abdul Kabir Khan Achakzai, Ayeesha Masood, Rasool Bakhsh Tareen and Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman