|Atriplex subsp. var.|
Atriplex is a plant genus of 100-200 species, known by the common names of saltbush and orache (or orach). The genus is quite variable and widely distributed. The genus includes many desert and seashore plants and halophytes, as well as plants of moist environments. Saltbushes are extremely tolerant of salt content in the ground: their name derives from the fact that they retain salt in their leaves, which makes them of great use in areas affected by soil salination. Many species are edible. However, the favored species for human consumption is A. hortensis.
The Garden Orache (A. hortensis), also called red orach, mountain spinach or French spinach, is an annual leaf vegetable with a salty, spinach-like taste. The plant grows 1-2 m (3-6 ft) in height and the leaves are used cooked or in salads. It was commonly grown in Mediterranean regions from early times until spinach became the more favored leaf vegetable of choice. The leaves can come in red, white and green varieties. The green leaves were once used to color pasta in Italy. Another common use of orach was to mix with the herb sorrel to balance out its acid flavor.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Atriplex (from a Greek name of orache). Chenopodiaceae. Herbs with inconspicuous flowers, some of which are used for forage under the name of salt- bushes, some for hedges or lawn specimens, and one as a garden vegetable, and many succulent weeds of desert regions.
Flowers dioecious or monoecious, in spicate or paniculate clusters, sometimes bunched in the axils: Lvs. usually alternate or some opposite: fr. half or wholly inclosed by the persistent bractlets.—About 125 widely distributed species, often weeds. A. patula, in many forms, is a common weedy plant throughout the country.
Atriplex hortensis is a garden vegetable used like spinach; for culture, see Orach. A. leptocarpa, A. semibaccata and others have been introduced as supplementary forage plants for arid regions. A. Breweri is a popular low hedge plant in southern California.
Pests and diseases
About 100-200 species, including:
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963