If you were to put the leaves next to each other, you’d see some similarities between arugula and dandelion. Both types of leaves have spiky sides sticking out like prongs and a rounded top at the end.
They also both have flowers. Everyone is familiar with the sunny yellow dandelion flowers that dot their yards in the summer. Not as many people know, however, that arugula also grows its own dainty white flowers.
Another similarity between these plants is that their flowers are both edible. With all these similarities, a question many people are wondering is if arugula is related to dandelion.
Well, wonder no longer! In this short article, we’ll discuss the relation (if any) between these two scrumptious plants.
Quick Answer: Is Arugula Related to Dandelion?
No. Arugula and dandelion come from two completely different plant families, despite their visual and flavor similarities.
Arugula is a member of the Brassicaceae family. This family includes other plants, too, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and radish.
Dandelion, on the other hand, comes from the Asteraceae family. Aside from dandelions, you’ll find lettuce, artichokes, sunflowers, and marigolds in this group.
An Overview of the Brassicaceae Family
To list everything arugula is actually related to would take a long time. It comes from the Brassicaceae family, which contains a jaw-dropping 4,060 different plant species.
For that reason, we can only mention a few of arugula’s most famous relatives. You already know that it’s related to broccoli and cauliflower.
But you might not have known that it’s also related to collards, turnips, and horseradish. There are tons of plants in this family, and they’re scattered all over the entire planet (with the exception of Antarctica).
The majority of crops agricultural crops are, in fact, members of this family. It truly is expansive.
However, when you compare it with the dandelion’s family, Asteraceae, it’s dwarfed. That’s because the Asteraceae family has over 30,000 plant species!
Read Also: Where Does Arugula Come From?
Arugula and Dandelion Substitutes
Given their similarities, arugula and dandelion can often stand in as substitutes for each other. But if you don’t have either one, what else could you use in their place?
Well, when it comes to arugula, radicchio is a pretty good substitute. Its bitter taste is a great match for arugula’s signature pepper-like flavor.
Baby spinach leaves can also work as a substitute for either arugula or dandelion. They’re especially comparable to young dandelion leaves, because both aren’t bitter. However, as dandelion gets older, its leaves develop a bitter flavor that separates them from spinach leaves.
Here’s one thing we can be sure of: even though arugula and dandelion aren’t technically related, they’re both delicious ingredients. Both can be used in a variety of healthy ways, and they can even stand in as substitutes for one another.
If you have the time, we recommend trying to use both of them in the same recipe. You could try a mixture of them in a salad like this one.