Saturday Spotlight: Apollo Arugula

This is the latest in a series of posts that I’ve done about my favorite varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs we grow at Happy Acres. To see my other Spotlights, and those from other garden bloggers, visit the Variety Spotlights page.

Today’s spotlight is on a great tasting variety of arugula called Apollo. According to the Seed Savers Exchange, where I bought my seeds, Apollo is an “improved Dutch strain of domesticated rocket.” Though known as Arugula to most Americans, the plant Eruca sativa is called Rocket in Britain and Rucola in Italy. It’s my third year growing Apollo here at Happy Acres.

Apollo arugula

Apollo arugula

Apollo has large, rounded leaves that are less bitter tasting than many other strains of arugula. The taste really improves in cold weather, and I think the leaves become especially sweet and flavorful then. Like most forms of arugula, Apollo is very cold hardy, and usually survives the winter here in my USDA Zone 6b garden. In the winter greenhouse, I can generally cut Apollo for harvest throughout the winter. It also does well in containers, like my salad boxes I use in the greenhouse.

Apollo arugula in salad box

Apollo arugula in salad box

Those large leaves are also a plus, in my opinion. All things considered, the bigger the leaves the bigger the harvests, and Apollo has some of the biggest leaves I have ever seen on arugula. It doesn’t seem to make them any less tender either. The leaves of Apollo also have smooth edges, which makes for more usable leaf area.

large leaf of Apollo arugula

large leaf of Apollo arugula

I have not noticed that Apollo is any more or less prone to bolting than other strains of arugula. It is listed by the SSE at taking 40-45 days to full maturity, but of course it is edible at all stages of growth.

young Apollo arugula plant

young Apollo arugula plant

I hope you have enjoyed this spotlight on a tasty and productive strain of arugula. Seeds for Apollo arugula are available in the U.S. from the Seed Savers Exchange. I’ll be back soon with another variety.


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5 Responses to Saturday Spotlight: Apollo Arugula

  1. Lisa says:

    Thanks for theses spotlights. Since we live in the same zone, they are very helpful to me.

  2. Michelle says:

    I’ll have to include some Apollo arugula in my next order from SSE, it looks like a winner. This has been such a lazy autumn for me, I don’t have any arugula in my garden now, and I’ve had to buy it. It’s just not the same. I just sowed some Speedy yesterday and hope to be harvesting some in a few weeks.

  3. I never realised that your arugula was our rocket.

  4. Susie says:

    I really liked Speedy arugula when I grew it last year but it has serrated edges – as you noted, Dave, this makes for much less usable leaf area (although it was much spicier than other varieties I’ve tried). Thanks for your spotlight on this as I’m still questioning what kind to grow next year so I’ll keep this one in mind.

  5. Margaret says:

    I often find that arugula has such a strong flavour, which is why it hasn’t ended up on a garden plan yet. I’m still debating on whether to include it next year or not, but I’ll be making a note of this variety so that it is front and center when I eventually do get around to growing it.

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