Annual leafy vegetable 1.8m tall – a dramatic statement for the back of the vege bed or to provide shade for an underplanting of summer lettuce. The bright green lance-shaped leaves can be used raw in salads or cooked like spinach. They do not have a strong flavour, and in some culinary traditions they are mixed with sorrel leaves in order to modify the sorrel’s acidity and combine the flavours. The seed, though small and fiddly to harvest , can be ground into a meal and used in soups etc or mixed with flour when making bread. It is said to be a good source of vitamin A, but may contain saponins which should not be eaten in quantity but can easily be leached through the cooking water. Orach is said to have medicinal properties with leaves being diuretic, emetic and a stimulant to the metabolism. An infusion is used as a spring tonic and a remedy for tiredness and nervous exhaustion. In addition the plant is a potential source of biomass for chop and drop or biofuels.
Orach was one of the first vegetables cultivated by humans, certainly well before the time of the ancient Greeks. It was a popular and common vegetable across the whole of Eurasia, travelled to the colonies, but then was overtaken in popularity by spinach. Itis very easy to grow, tolerating a wide variety of well-drained soils, even saline and very alkaline soils, though it prefers rich, moisture-retentive soils, and regular watering will give fast growth of lush tender leaves.
Full sun, drought resistant.
9cm pot, certified organic plant. Not available autumn/winter.