Orach Red (Mountain Spinach)



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Atriplex hortensis

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 purple 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 a blue dye can be obtained from the seed and the plant is a potential source of biomass for chop and drop or biofuels.

Orach is very easy to grown, tolerating  a wide variety of well-drained soils, even saline and very alkaline soils, though they prefer 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.

Freight: Lowest freight rate is currently $13.50 for between one and nine 9cm pots to an urban address. Further charges apply for larger orders, larger plants, or rural addresses. For more info please see our full list of freight and packing charges.