Eruca vesicaria (syn. Brassica vesicaria L.) is a species of Eruca native to the western Mediterranean region, in Morocco, Algeria, Spain and Portugal. It is closely related to Eruca sativa, which is included in E. vesicaria by some botanists either as a subspecies E. vesicaria subsp. sativa or not distinguished at all. E. vesicaria can be distinguished from E. sativa by its persistent sepals. Both plants are referred to by the same common names as E. sativa.
It is an annual plant growing to 20–100 cm tall. The leaves are deeply pinnately lobed with four to ten small lateral lobes and a large terminal lobe. The flowers are 2–4 cm diameter, arranged in a corymb, with the typical Brassicaceae flower structure; the petals are creamy white with purple veins, and the stamens yellow; the sepals are persistent after the flower opens. The fruit is a siliqua (pod) 12–25 mm long with an apical beak, and containing several seeds.
Cultivation and uses
- The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 11 May 2016
- Med-Checklist: Eruca vesicaria
- Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2
- Flora of NW Europe: Eruca vesicaria
- Flora Europaea: Eruca
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
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