Green (Orach)

Green (Orach)

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A member of the Chenopodiaceae family, orach (Atriplex hortensis) is also known as Garden Orache, Mountain Spinach, French Spinach and Sea Purslane. It is also sometimes referred to as Salt Bush due to its tolerance for alkaline and saline soils. The name orach is derived from the Latin ‘aurago’ meaning golden herb. A native of Europe and Siberia, orach is possibly one of the more ancient cultivated plants.

A bright apple green foliage, also known as orach (orache). This easy to grow plants provide an interesting, textural element to design work. As a bonus, young leaves are edible, having a spinach-like flavour. Cool season plant, warm season alternative to spinach that is likely to bolt. Very fast growing and have excellent heat tolerance.  


It is grown as a substitute for spinach either fresh or cooked. The flavour is reminiscent of spinach and is often combined with sorrel leaves. The seeds are also edible and a source of vitamin A. They are ground into a meal and mixed with flour for making breads. Seeds are also used to make a blue dye.

Seeds should be sown in full sun to part shade about 2-3 weeks after the last frost for your area. Sow seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep spaced 2 inches apart in rows a foot to 18 inches apart. With germination temps of between 10 to 18 C., seeds should sprout within 7-14 days. Thin the seedlings to 6-12 inches in the row. The thinings can be eaten, tossed into salads much as any other baby green.

Thereafter, there is little special orach care except to keep the plants moist. Although orach is drought tolerant, the leaves will have better flavour if kept irrigated. This delicious plant tolerates both alkaline soil and salt, and is frost tolerant as well. Orach does beautifully as a container planting too.