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Perennial Wall Rocket

Diplotaxis tenuifolia

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Rocky places, walls, wasteland.

Yellow, 4 petals
The flowers are bright yellow and held in a spike (raceme). They are paler, larger (1.5 to 3cm across) and longer stalked than the similar looking Annual Wall Rocket (Diplotaxis muralis). 6 stamens - 4 long and 2 short.
The fruit are pea-like pods. Many-seeded. The stem of the pod which has an angle in it is more acute than that of Annual Wall Rocket. The seeds mature from June to October.
Alternate, pinnately lobed leaves with narrow, linear lobes (occasionally not lobed). The end lobe is the longest. Bushy in nature. The stems are branching. Unlike Annual Wall Rocket, the stems are hairless. In fact the whole plant is hairless. Perennial Wall Rocket is a taller plant than Annual Wall Rocket and does not have basal leaves. Perennial Wall Rocket is greyer and bushier than Annual Wall Rocket. Both plants are woody at the base of their stems. Perennial.
The leaves are fragrant when bruised.
Other Names:
Lincoln Weed, Mediterranean Rocket, Narrow-leaved Sylvestris, Narrow-leaved Wall Rocket, Sand Rocket, White Rocket, Wild Rocket.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Diplotaxis tenuifolia, also known as narrow-leaved wall rocket or narrow-leaved sylvestris, is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is native to Mediterranean region, North Africa and Europe, and typically grows in a variety of habitats including walls, rocky places, and waste places. The plant is an annual herb that can grow up to 60cm tall, it has narrow, lobed leaves and yellow flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. It is considered a weed in some parts of the world due to its invasive nature and its ability to outcompete native plants. The leaves and young shoots are edible, they have a pungent and spicy flavor, and are used in salads, sandwiches and in some culinary dishes. The seeds are also used as a spice. It can be controlled by cultural practices such as hand weeding, mowing and the use of herbicides.

It's also known as wild arugula and it's used for its spicy taste in Mediterranean cuisine.


Perennial Wall Rocket, also known as Diplotaxis tenuifolia, is an edible plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. It is native to the Mediterranean region but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America, Australia, and some parts of Asia. The plant is a biennial or perennial herb, which grows up to 60cm in height, and has delicate, narrow leaves that are deeply lobed.

One of the distinguishing features of perennial wall rocket is its pungent, peppery taste, which is similar to that of arugula or mustard greens. The plant is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine and is popular in salads, as a garnish, or as an ingredient in sauces and dressings. In addition to its culinary uses, perennial wall rocket has also been used for medicinal purposes in traditional medicine. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has been used to treat various ailments, including respiratory and digestive disorders.

Perennial wall rocket is a hardy plant that thrives in a variety of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun but can also grow in partial shade. The plant is drought-tolerant and can survive in arid conditions, making it an excellent choice for low-maintenance gardens or areas with limited water resources.

Propagation of perennial wall rocket is typically done through seed, and it can self-seed freely in the garden. The plant grows quickly and can be harvested within six to eight weeks of planting. To harvest, the leaves are typically picked by hand or cut with a sharp knife just above the soil line. The plant will continue to produce new leaves as long as the weather remains cool.

One of the benefits of growing perennial wall rocket is that it is low-maintenance and requires minimal care. The plant does not require fertilizers or pesticides, and it is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, it is important to keep an eye out for aphids and other insects that may be attracted to the plant. Regular weeding and watering are also important to keep the plant healthy and thriving.

Perennial wall rocket is a versatile and easy-to-grow plant that can add flavor and nutrition to any garden or kitchen. Its peppery taste and delicate texture make it a popular ingredient in salads and other dishes, and its medicinal properties make it a valuable addition to any herbal remedy collection. Whether you're an experienced gardener or just starting out, perennial wall rocket is a great choice for a low-maintenance, high-yield plant that is sure to impress.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, perennial wall rocket also has some ecological benefits. The plant is considered a valuable food source for bees and other pollinators, and its deep taproot helps to improve soil structure and water infiltration. It is also considered a natural weed suppressant and can help to prevent soil erosion.

Perennial wall rocket is a versatile plant that can be grown in a variety of settings, including gardens, raised beds, and containers. It can be grown as a companion plant to other vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, and can help to attract beneficial insects and deter harmful ones. Its leaves can also be used as a natural mulch or added to compost to help improve soil health.

It is worth noting that while perennial wall rocket is generally considered safe for consumption, it can contain high levels of nitrates, which can be harmful in large quantities. Individuals with thyroid problems or other health concerns should consult a healthcare professional before consuming large amounts of the plant.

Perennial wall rocket is a versatile and easy-to-grow plant that has a wide range of culinary, medicinal, and ecological benefits. Its pungent, peppery taste makes it a popular ingredient in salads and other dishes, and its medicinal properties make it a valuable addition to any herbal remedy collection. Its low-maintenance requirements and ability to thrive in a variety of soil types make it a great choice for both experienced and novice gardeners alike.

Perennial wall rocket is also known by a variety of other names, including wild rocket, sand rocket, white rocket, and Mediterranean rocket. In some regions, it is considered an invasive weed, as it can spread quickly and compete with native plant species. However, in areas where it is not considered invasive, it can be a valuable addition to gardens and natural areas.

The plant has a long history of use in Mediterranean cuisine, where it is often used in salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. Its pungent, peppery flavor pairs well with other flavorful ingredients such as tomatoes, cheese, and olives. It can also be used as a substitute for arugula or mustard greens in recipes.

Perennial wall rocket is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron. Its leaves are also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Because of its nutritional content and potential health benefits, perennial wall rocket is considered a superfood by some health experts.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, perennial wall rocket has been used in traditional folk medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and digestive issues. It has also been used as a poultice to help heal wounds and reduce inflammation.

Perennial wall rocket is also sometimes used in cosmetics and personal care products. The plant contains compounds that are believed to have anti-aging and skin-repairing properties, and its leaves can be used to make natural skincare products such as toners, facial masks, and moisturizers.

When using perennial wall rocket in cooking, it is important to remember that its flavor can be quite strong and pungent. It is best used in small quantities to add a peppery kick to salads and other dishes. The leaves can also be blended with other greens to make a milder, more balanced flavor.

Perennial wall rocket is an excellent plant to grow for those who are interested in sustainable and low-impact gardening. It is easy to propagate and requires minimal maintenance, making it a great choice for those who are new to gardening or who have limited time to devote to their gardens. It is also a good choice for those who are looking to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to their gardens.

In conclusion, perennial wall rocket is a versatile and useful plant that can add flavor, nutrition, and medicinal properties to a variety of settings. Its pungent taste and high nutritional content make it a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and a valuable addition to any diet. Its easy-to-grow nature and low-maintenance requirements make it a great choice for gardens of all sizes and types, and its ability to attract beneficial insects and improve soil health makes it a valuable asset in any sustainable gardening system.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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