Eruca Sativa

Botanical Name:Eruca Sativa
Family:Brassicaceae

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales
Genus: Eruca
Species: E. sativa
syn. :   E. vesicaria subsp. sativa (Miller) Thell., Brassica eruca L

Common Names:Rocket or Arugula, Roquette
Vernacular Names : Garden Rocket, Rocket (British English), Eruca, Rocketsalad, jarj?r (Arabic), Arugula (American English), Rucola (Italian), Rukola (Serbian, Slovenian, Polish), Rugola (Italian), Rauke (German), Roquette (French), Rokka (Greek), Roka (Turkish), Ruca (Catalan), Beharki (Basque), Voinicic (Romanian) Rúcula, Oruga and Arúgula (Spanish), Rúcula (Portuguese), Ruchetta (Italian)  and Rughetta (Italian). The term arugula (variations of Italian dialects) is used by the Italian diaspora in Australia and North America and from there picked up as a loan word to a varying degree in American and Australian English, particularly in culinary usage. The names ultimately all derive from the Latin word eruca, a name for an unspecified plant in the family Brassicaceae, probably a type of cabbage.

Habitat : Arugula is native to western Asia and the Mediterranean region. It is standard table fare in Italy, the South of France, Greece and Little Italy in New York City. In recent years Californians and other Americans have discovered this tangy salad green and it can now be found in upscale supermarkets throughout most of the United States. Arugula has naturalized in waste places, road shoulders and fallow fields in northern and western Europe, well beyond its original range.


DESCRIPTION:

Arugula is an annual salad green that has leaves similar in taste and appearance to its relative, the radish (Raphanus sativus). The leaves are 3-7 in (7.6-18 cm) long and deeply lobed, like those of dandelions. Arugula is best used as a salad green when it’s young, just 1 ft (0.3 m) or so tall. It will eventually produce stems 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) in height, topped with white cross shaped flowers that are very similar to those of radish. Several cultivars are offered in the specialty seed catalogs.
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CULTIVATION:
Light: Full sun. If grown in summer, provide shade from midday sun.
Moisture: Arugula appreciates regular watering.
Hardiness: Arugula can be grown in all zones. It is an annual that can tolerate temperatures down to 25ºF (-3.9 C). It goes quickly to seed in hot weather.

It is now cultivated in various places, especially in Veneto, Italy, but is available throughout the world. It is also locally naturalised away from its native range in temperate regions around the world, including northern Europe and North America. In India, the mature seeds are known as Gargeer.

PROPAGATION :
From seed. Plant seeds thickly in rows, bands or patches in early spring and again in autumn. Summer plantings go quickly to flower and seed, and the leaves are tougher and more bitter than those from plants grown in cool weather. Arugula will self seed in the garden if allowed.

USES:
Arugula is one of the new darlings among “in” salad lovers in America, but it has been a popular salad green and “seasoning leaf” in southern Europe for centuries. It’s stronger tasting than most leafy greens, but not quite strong enough to be called an herb. The flavor of arugula has been likened to mustard greens (Brassica juncea), radish (Raphanus sativus) and cress. It adds a pleasant peppery “bite” to fresh green salads. Larger, more mature leaves, and those grown in the hot summer, are stronger tasting, almost bitter, and used in salads with discretion. The small younger leaves may be used freely. Toss arugula with radicchio and a mild lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Arugula is a standard component in mesclun, a toss of young leaves of various lettuces, chicories (Cichorum intybus), endives (Cichorium endivia) and mild herbs. It adds a nice tangy bite to potato salads. Arugula can be cooked like spinach (Spinacea oleracea) or wilted in hot olive oil and garlic and served with pasta or potatoes. Use the older, more tangy leaves in soups and sauces. Add arugula to leek and potato soup near the end of the simmering. Use arugula in vegetable stir fry. The seeds of arugula are sometimes used as a flavoring substitute for mustard, and they are pressed to yield an edible oil known as jamba oil. The seeds are also sprouted for use in salads.

It is used as a leaf vegetable, which looks like a longer leaved and open lettuce. It is rich in vitamin C and potassium[9]. It is frequently cultivated, although domestication cannot be considered complete. It has been grown in the Mediterranean area since Roman times, and is considered an aphrodisiac. Before the 1990s it was usually collected in the wild and was not cultivated on a large scale or researched scientifically. In addition to the leaves, the flowers (often used in salads as an edible garnish), young seed pods and mature seeds are all edible.

On the island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples, a digestive alcohol called rucolino is made from the plant, a drink often enjoyed in small quantities following a meal. The liquor is a local specialty enjoyed in the same way as a limoncello or grappa and has a sweet peppery taste that washes down easily.

Grow arugula in the fall and early spring garden. Usable leaves should be ready in 4-6 weeks. The best leaves are from plants grown fast in cool weather. Use nitrogen fertilizer to insure rapid growth. Pick off leaves as needed, leaving the plant to grow more.

Features:

According to ancient traditions, eating arugula will bring you good luck. The oil extracted from the seeds was considered to be an aphrodisiac. Since it also tastes good, it seems like everyone might want to grow this talented green.

MEDICINAL USES:
Herbal medicine : Medicinal notes  It is sharp, spicy and pungent. Eruca sativa is most often used cooked or fresh.

RECENT RESEARCH study conducted by Saudi Arabian researchers has confirmed that the herb  Rocket “Eruca sativa L.” (EER), a member of the   Brassicacae family, has potential anti-ulcer medicinal properties.
Click to see:->Herb Medicine ‘Rocket’ has Gastric Anti-ulcer Properties :

Traditional uses:
Parts used  Traditional uses  Contemporary uses  Fragrance  Fragrance parts  Fragrance intensity    Fragrance category    Dye parts  Dye color .

Other Uses: The seed yields a semi-drying oil which is a substitute for rapeseed oil[46]. It can also be used for lighting, burning with very little soot.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eruca_sativa
http://www.floridata.com/ref/E/eruc_sat.cfm

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