Vern.: Tara Mira.
Eruca vesicaria var. sativa (Mill.) Thell.
Annual, somewhat foetid herb, (10-) 25-50 (-80) cm. tall, erect, simple sometimes branched, ± hispid rarely subglabrous. Leaves lyrate-pinnatifid, ± fleshy; lower subrosulate, shortly stalked, 4-5-jugate, usually 7-15 cm long, 3-5 cm broad; terminal lobe somewhat larger, usually ovate, obtuse, irregularly toothed; lateral lobes ovate-oblong; upper leaves 1-3-jugate, smaller, subsessile or sessile. Racemes 15-50-flowered, lax, up to 30 cm long in fruit. Flowers large, 15-20 mm across, whitish to dull yellow or dirty white; pedicel 3-5 (rarely -8) mm long in fruit, becoming somewhat thick and appressed or subappressed to the axis. Sepals 8-10 (-12) mm long, 1.8-2 mm broad, oblong, ± hairy, often pale-violet. Petals 15-22 mm long, 5-6.5 mm broad, obovate, long clawed, brown or violet veined, apex truncate. Stamens 9-13: 11-15 mm long; anthers 2.5-3. 5mm long. Siliquae 15-30 mm long, 3.5-4.5 mm broad, ovate-oblong to oblong-ellip¬soid (including 6-8 mm long, sabre-shaped, compressed, seedless beak, with ± 5 parallel veins) ; valves with a prominent mid-vein only; seeds 6-12 in each locule, ovoid or subglobose, 1.5-2 (-2.5) mm in diam., pale brown.
Fl. Per.: April-June.
Type: Described from Switzerland.
Distribution: Europe, N. Africa, S. W. Asia, widely introduced elsewhere.
‘Tara Mira’ is widely cultivated within our area for fodder and its seed oil, valued medicinally and other purposes. It is a very variable species, and C. cappadocica Reut., originally distinguished by its long beak and size of seed, is only a form of it.