Plant DetailShow Menu

Roquette Eruca vesicaria

Previously known as:

  • Eruca sativa
  • Eruca versicaria subsp. sativa
Phonetic Spelling
eh-ROO-kah ves-ih-KAIR-ee-ah
Description

Resembling tall lettuce, arugula is an annual cool-season vegetable grown for its peppery-tasting leaves.  Popular in Italy, it is often eaten fresh in salads or used in a variety of cooked dishes.  Many other parts of the plant can also be eaten such as the flowers, young seeds pods, and seeds.

Eruca vesicaria grows best in full sun to part shade and moist, rich soil.  It is recommended to grow arugula in the cooler spring and fall; it tends to bolt and flower in hot weather, changing the flavor and stopping leaf growth.  Because of this, some shade can be beneficial in hot climates to deter bolting.  It also tolerates wet, mucky soil to some degree as well as light frosts. 

Seeds may be planted directly into the soil or started indoors before the last frost date for later transplanting.  Thin seedlings out to 6 in apart.  If growing in containers, use a minimum pot size of 3 gallons and a minimum depth of 4-6 in.  Plants can self-seed in the garden, though they run the risk of becoming a weed or escaping into natural areas.

Plants mature quickly, within 40-50 days, and can be harvested after 6 weeks.  Pick young leaves as older leaves have a bitter flavor.  Stagger plantings by one or two weeks for a continuous harvest throughout the season.  Once plants bolt in the summer, the flowers and seed pods can be harvested as well.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Few serious problems, though minor diseases may occur such as bacterial leaf spot and powdery mildew.  Aphids and flea beetles may cause problems.  Damping off of seedlings is infrequent but possible.

 

VIDEO Created by Homegrown featuring Bill Lord, former Area Specialized Agent for NC State Extension

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#yellow#full sun#partial shade#small spaces#annual#summer annual#edible plant#white flowers#container plant#edible flowers#spring flowers#fall interest#coastal#moist soil#well-drained soil#neutral ph#vegetable garden#rich soil#cool weather plant#edible seeds#vegetable#edible leaves#edible#cool season vegetable#annual vegetable#wet soils tolerant#container#container vegetable garden#shade tolerant vegetable#summer#containers#spring greens
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#yellow#full sun#partial shade#small spaces#annual#summer annual#edible plant#white flowers#container plant#edible flowers#spring flowers#fall interest#coastal#moist soil#well-drained soil#neutral ph#vegetable garden#rich soil#cool weather plant#edible seeds#vegetable#edible leaves#edible#cool season vegetable#annual vegetable#wet soils tolerant#container#container vegetable garden#shade tolerant vegetable#summer#containers#spring greens
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eruca
    Species:
    vesicaria
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean to China and Arabian Peninsula
    Edibility:
    Leaves, flowers, seed pods, and seeds are edible. Harvest leaves and seed pods when young as they get tough and bitter with age. Harvest only as needed as leaves do not keep long in the refrigerator after harvesting.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Long, beaked pods 0.5-1.5" containing two rows of several seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Four-petaled cream to white flowers up to an inch in size that grow in corymbs. Flowers have yellow stamens and purple-ish veins.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal leaves are pinnately lobed, 4-10 small lateral lobes and a large terminal lobe. Stem leaves are small with entire margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Insect Pests
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy