or rocket is a peppery-mustard, slightly smoky, and almost meaty tasting salad green which is also used as an herb. Its leaves are lobed and similar to dandelion. If the plants are allowed to mature, the taste becomes increasingly bitter and wild varieties have an even greater amount of spicy heat.
In the U.S. Italian-Americans, most of whom emigrated to the states from southern Italy, used the calabrese term for arugula or rucola (standard Italian for arugula), which is aruculu. In Great Britain, the term came to England via France via northern Italy where the regional name for arugula was ruchetta, which in French became roquette. The Latin word for arugula, eruca, which is from a far more ancient language, proto-Indo-European, is very near the calabrese and it is also the Latin word for "caterpillar," after the larvae of cabbage moths which feed on the leaves of arugula.