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a plant genus of the family Cruciferae. Members of the genus are annual, rarely perennial, herbs with pinnatisect or pinnatifid leaves. The flowers are usually yellowish or whitish in color; the fruit is a pod with a long rostellum. There are five or six Eruca species in southern Europe, the Caucasus, Western Siberia, and North and East Africa. There is one species, rocket salad (E. sativa), in the USSR; it is an annual with several fleshy leaves. Eruca is encountered as a weed in crops; it is sometimes cultivated as an oil-bearing plant in the southern regions of the USSR, and in Asia Minor, Ethiopia, and India. The seeds contain oil; the leaves are used as salad greens and spice; and mustard is prepared from the stalks.