Arugula (Eruca sativa)

Arugula (Eruca sativa) is an edible plant in the family Brassicaceae, native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal east to Lebanon and Turkey. It is also known as Rocket, Roquette, Rugula, Ucola, Garden Rocket, Eruca, Roman Rocket, and Salad Rocket. Arugula is popular in Italian cuisine.

Arugula is an annual plant growing 20-100 cm tall. The leaves are deeply lobed, pinnately arranged, with 4-10 small lateral lobes and a large terminal lobe. The four-petaled, white with purple-veined flowers, 2-4 cm in diameter, are arranged in a corymb. The fruit is a pod (siliqua), 12-35 mm long with a apical beak, containing several edible seeds.

Arugula is grown for both its leaves and seeds. The seeds are pressed to make taramira oil, used in pickling and as a salad or cooking oil, while the leaves are generally used in salads and mesclun mixes. The leaves have a rich, peppery taste, and an exceptional strong flavor. In addition to the leaves, the flowers, young seed pods and mature seeds are all edible. The seeds are known as Gargeer in India.

Arugula is a fast-growing cool-season salad green. It can be harvested in 40 days after seeding. It prefers full sun or partial shade, and a rich humus soil, but will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. Avoid planting arugula after other cabbage family crops. Propagation is by seeds.

Arugula is very low in calories, and high in vitamins A and C, and potassium.

Arugula (Eruca sativa)Arugula (Eruca sativa)
Author: H. Zell (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

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