A Mediterranean plant (Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa) of the mustard family, having flowers with purple-veined, yellowish-white petals and pungent, edible leaves. Also called rocket2, roquette.
[From Italian dialectal (Basilicata) arucola or a kindred Italian dialectal source, ultimately from Latin ērūca, bitter cruciferous herb, arugula, perhaps from ērūca, ūrūca, caterpillar (arugula perhaps being so called from its hairy stems resembling caterpillars, or from the fact that cruciferous vegetables are often infested with caterpillars ), perhaps from ēr, hedgehog (with reference to the hairs and spines of some caterpillars).]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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