Eruca Mill.

The generic limits of Eruca are very uncertain, as is the number of species. As usually understood it is a Mediterranean genus with one variable species, E. vesicaria. Alternatively, some of the infraspecific taxa are sometimes accepted as distinct species. Schulz (1919) distinguished five species, whereas Euro+Med Plantbase now accepts two species (E. vesicaria and E. loncholoma (Pomel) O. E. Schulz, a North African endemic). One taxon (“subsp. sativa”) is often cultivated as a minor vegetable, rucola.
Molecular data shed new light on the genus. According to some authors (Al-Shehbaz & al. 2006) it is best considered part of a broadly circumscribed genus Brassica, whereas others propose to redefine Eruca as to include some representatives of Diplotaxis (Arias & Pires 2012). Pending further studies it is here treated in a conservative way, with only one variable species accepted.


Al-Shehbaz I.A., Beilstein M.A. & Kellogg E.A. (2006) Systematics and phylogeny of the Brassicaceae (Cruciferae): An overview. Pl. Syst. Evol. 259: 89-120. [available online at:]

Arias T. & Pires J.C. (2012) A fully resolved chloroplast phylogeny of the brassica crops and wild relatives (Brassicaceae: Brassiceae): Novel clades and potential taxonomic implications. Taxon 61(5): 980-988. [available online at:

Schulz O.E. (1919) Eruca. In: Engler A. (ed.), Das Pflanzenreich 70(IV.105). Engelmann, Leipzig: 180-190. [available online at:]

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith