Eruca sativa Mill. Cruciferae. Rocket.
Mediterranean region and western Asia. Rocket is called "a good salat-herbe" by Gerarde, and Don says the leaves and tender stalks form an agreeable salad. Syme says it is used in southern Europe as a salad. It is cultivated for its leaves and stalks which are used as a salad. Walsh says, it is a fetid, offensive plant but is highly esteemed by the Greeks and Turks, who prefer it to any other salad. It was cultivated by the ancient Romans. Albertus Magnus, in the thirteenth century, speaks of it in gardens; so also does Ruellius, 1536, who uses nearly the present French name, roqueta. In 1586, Camerarius says it is planted most abundantly in gardens. In 1726, Townsend says it is not now very common in English gardens, and in 1807 Miller's Dictionary says it has been long rejected. Rocket was in American gardens in 1854 or earlier and is yet included by Vilmorin among European vegetables.