Arugula is most popular in Italian cuisine, and especially in salads. Still, its fame as a salad favorite dates back to Roman times, when a salad of arugula was part of a typical Roman meal. The seed of arugula was also useful to Romans- it was known as an aphrodisiac and it was also used as flavoring oil.
Arugula is actually a vegetable and like many other leafy greens, arugula is low in calories but a good source of vitamins A and C. Arugula is strong in flavor and aroma and has a hearty, juicy leaf. The small white flower produced by arugula is also edible and is great in salads or as a garnish. Other names for arugula include rocket, roquette, rugula and rucola. Arugula grows 16-18 inches high.
Arugula is truly a kitchen favorite and a must for any herb garden, though it can be a tough keeper in the southern summers. Too much summer heat and drought will cause leaves to be small and peppery. Planting in high, airy shade will protect from the heat. Watering regularly will keep your arugula from facing drought. Arugula does well in southern winters as it is cold hardy.