Arugula is available in a surprising range of appearance, degree of spiciness, flavor, texture, and other characteristics. It is an ideal vegetable for the cool season Mediterranean Garden. Generally “common” or “salad” strains are milder in flavor with rounded and paler leaves; while “wild” strains are often spicier with longer, thinner, deeply lobed leaves that may have more prominent midribs and veins.
No arugula is truly heat tolerant, but Astro is reliable, early, and more heat-tolerant than most other varieties. It’s relatively mild in flavor, and a good choice for areas where there is a possibility of unseasonal heat waves. Rocket is spicier and produces yellow edible flowers rather than the more common white.
Sylvetta is a popular, pungent “wild” arugula variety. Olive-Leaved Sylvetta is slow-growing and very strong-flavored, with a long, narrow leaf. Other recommended wild varieties include Selvatica, which is somewhat heat tolerant with a strong flavor. Dragon’s Tongue is appealing and unusual with prominent purple veining.
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