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ERUCA vesicaria ssp. sativa

Image of Eruca vesicaria ssp. sativa

James H. Schutte

Family

Brassicaceae

Botanical Name

ERUCA vesicaria ssp. sativa

Plant Common Name

Arugula, Garden Rocket, Jamba, Rocketsalad

General Description

Long cultivated for its piquant leaves, arugula is a cool-season annual from the Mediterranean region. In spring and early summer it produces upright rosettes of lobed oblong leaves that make a sophisticated and zesty addition to salads. Later in the season it sends up a tall central stem topped with clusters of creamy-white flowers that are also edible. Plants will reseed unless flower stems are promptly removed. The variety sativa is the form usually grown.

Sow arugula as soon as the ground is workable in spring, or start indoors in pots in late winter. Give plants sun and well drained soil. Thin plants as necessary. Begin harvesting leaves three to six weeks after sowing. Leaves have their best flavor when young, becoming overly pungent as they mature. Plant a second crop in late summer for autumn harvest. This green makes an excellent addition to the herb or vegetable garden. In regions with hot, humid summers, consider planting arugula in autumn or winter when there is no frost.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    8"-40" / 20.3cm - 101.6cm

  • Width

    3"-6" / 7.6cm - 15.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes