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Synonyms : Brassica tenuifolia, Sisymbrium tenuifolium,
Habitat :Diplotaxis tenuifolia is native to Southern and central Europe, possibly including Britain. It grows on old walls and waste places in S. England, a casual further north. This plant is doubtfully native in Britain.
Diplotaxis tenuifolia is an erect mustard-like perennial plant with branching stems that may exceed half a meter in height. It grows in clumps on the ground in a variety of habitats and is a common weed of roadsides and disturbed areas. It has long leaves which may be lobed or not. The foliage is aromatic when crushed. Atop the branches of the stem are bright yellow flowers with four rounded petals each about a centimeter long. The fruit is a straight, flat silique up to five centimeters long.
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It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from Jun to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
See the plants native habitat for ideas on its cultivation needs.
Seed – best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe, though it can also be sown in situ in the spring. The seed usually germinates in the autumn.
Leaves – raw. Used in salads, they are very strongly flavoured of cress. The leaves have a hot flavour, very similar to rocket (Eruca vesicaria sativa) but more strongly flavoured – they make an excellent addition to a mixed salad but are too strong to be used in quantity on their own. The plant is very productive, producing leaves from early spring until the autumn.
Like other members of the Cruciferae this plant contains sulphuraed glucosides, and the juice of the fresh plant may be drunk as an expectorant to aid catarrh. The leaves have stimulant, diuretic, antiscorbutic and revulsant properties.
One of Trotula‘s works, Treatments for Women mentions “wild rocket cooked in wine” in a remedy for sanious flux in women.
D. tenuifolia inhibited the growth of HT-29 colorectal cancer cells with a marked cytotoxicity. Isothiocyanates and indoles have, in fact, been linked to anticarcinogenicity in mammals.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.