Eruca sativa Mill.


Gard. Dict. no, edn 8, 1 (1768) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Extinct

Establishment means:Introduced

Stems erect, 10–60 cm high, glabrous or with soft or bristly hairs, fetid when crushed. Lower leaves petiolate, pinnate or pinnately lobed, lateral lobes 2–5 pairs, terminal lobe large and more or less ovate, margins usually irregularly toothed; upper leaves less divided, sessile or shortly stalked. Sepals 8–12 mm long, erect, deciduous; petals 12–22 mm long. Fruit erect, 1–4 cm long (including beak), 3–6 mm wide; valves little constricted between seeds; beak 5–10 mm long, flattened, narrowly to broadly triangular; pedicel 2–8 mm long; seeds 1–3 mm long, yellow- or red-brown. Flowers summer–autumn.

Naturalised in WA, SA, NSW, Tas. Native to northern Africa, Eurasia. In Victoria it has not been collected since 1941, prior to which it had been found near Kerang, Dimboola and Werribee. As a weed of cultivated and disturbed soil it may not be truly naturalised in Victoria.

The leaves and seeds are edible. It is sometimes cultivated as a salad vegetable or animal feed, or for seed-oil.

Sinapis alba resembles E. vesicaria subsp. sativa but has spreading sepals and only a single row of seeds per locule. Eruca vesicaria subsp. vesicaria has not been reported from Australia, and has sepals which are persistent at least until the fruits ripen.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1996). Brassicaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne (as Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa (Mill.) Thell.).
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-01-08
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Brassicales
family Brassicaceae
genus Eruca
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Eruca sativa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Eruca sativa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee extinct introduced
Victorian Riverina extinct introduced
Otway Plain extinct introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales