The Roquette Eruca sativa. European salad plant. One of our salad favorites.
Roquette Eruca sativa
Eruca sativa (syn. E. vesicaria subsp. sativa (Miller) Thell., Brassica eruca L.) is an edible annual plant, commonly known as salad rocket, rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, roquette, and arugula.
It is sometimes conflated with Diplotaxis tenuifolia, known as perennial wall rocket, another plant of the Brassicaceae family that is used in the same manner. Eruca sativa, which is widely popular as a salad vegetable, is a species of Eruca native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal in the west to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey in the east. The Latin adjective sativa in the plant’s binomial is derived from satum, the supine of the verb sero, meaning “to sow”, indicating that the seeds of the plant were sown in gardens. Still others do not differentiate between the two.
Other common names include garden rocket, or more simply rocket (British, Australian, South African, Irish and New Zealand English), and eruca. The English common name, rocket, derives from the French roquette, a diminutive of the Latin word eruca, which designated an unspecified plant in the Brassicaceae family (probably a type of cabbage). Arugula, the common name now widespread in the United States, entered American English from non-standard (dialect) Italian. (The standard Italian word is rucola, a diminutive of the Latin “eruca”). The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first appearance of “arugula” in American English to a 1960 New York Times article by food editor and prolific cookbook writer Craig Claiborne.