Eruca sativaMillerRucola: diminutive of ruca, from the latin eruca(m) origin unknown.
Some trace it to the latin urere, which means "burn", referring to Rocket's zesty flavor.
Wild Rocket (Diplotaxix tenuifolia) and garden Rocket (Eruca sativa), both belonging to the Brassicaceae family, are different plants which are often mixed up due to certain gross similarities in appearance and aromatic flavor, although wild Rocket has a more intense aroma.
Culinary usePrized in ancient times for its spicy, sharp aroma (due to a glycoside which releases thiocyanites) Rocket excels in salads and in sauces; it enriches the flavor of sandwiches, it brings out the taste of certain soft cheeses and may be steamed.
It is certainly rare to find someone who has not tasted Rocket but, should that be the case, hurry up to remedy the situation – you have no idea what you have been missing!
Medicinal propertiesOnce upon a time Rocket was prized more for its medicinal qualities than for its culinary uses: it was attributed with depurative, digestive, diuretic, stimulating and tonic properties. It was used to make cough syrups and it was deemed useful in cases of asthenia and impotence.
CharacteristicsRocket seedlings, either the wild or the garden variety, only require common garden earth, a little sun, water and protection against weeds.
Prefers full sun or partial shade
Cannot withstand intense cold
Prefers a low humidity level in the substratum