The word orach is derived; from the Latin word ‘aurago’, which means golden herb. Purple orach or Atriplex hortensis is commonly known; by various other names like Garden Orache, Red Orach, Mountain Spinach, French Spinach, and Sea Purslane. However, it is also referred to as a Salt Bush because it is highly tolerant of alkaline and saline soils.
Purple orach is a cool-season plant that is used to serve as an alternative to spinach. It serves as a perfect substitution in cases where spinach seems to be bolting. It is considered one of the ancient cultivated plants grown in Europe and the northern plains of the United States. Its seeds are also edible and are an excellent source of Vitamin A. The seeds are ground in meals and also combined with flour to make bread. The seeds of a purple orach are also used; in the preparation of a blue dye.
Purple Orach Facts
A purple orach is a tall and erect growing hardy annual plant that grows well in arable land, waste, and disturbed ground. The soil variety which an orach needs to attain optimum growth is moisture-retentive and rich soil. Stems of an orach plant are cylindrical, green-striped, erect, and sparsely branched. The flowering season of an orach is from July to August. The bloomed flowers are monoecious and small, having a color of red or green corresponding to the plant foliage.
The purple orach tastes spinach-like and salty. It is not valuable from an eating point of view. The health benefits which the orach offers are multiple. It boosts metabolism, improves the digestive system, bone health, and kidney functioning, prevents anemia and macular degeneration, lowers blood pressure, provides an adequate amount of copper, and promotes weight loss and healthy eyes and heart.
Purple Orach Height
The orach plant is known to attain a height up to 72 feet or 182 centimetres. The plant is accompanied; by a seed stalk which approximately reaches up to a size of 8 feet or 2.4 meters. A white orach has arrow-shaped, soft, and pliable leaves with a slight serration and is about 4 to 5 inches or 10 to 12.7 centimeters in length and 2 to 3 inches or 5 to 7.6 cm in width.
The harvest of an orach plant takes 30 to 40 days to mature but, an individual can begin the harvesting at thinning. Orach leaves are used in salads and as garnishes. Besides that, it is also cooked as green stuff the same way as someone would grape leaves. The orach leaves are also tossed; into pasta or soups. There is a traditional Romanian soup; made with simple orach, combined with rice, lemon, onion, and eggs.
Purple Orach Seeds
Orach is usually grown in USDA zones 4 to 8, similar to spinach. The propagation of an orach plant is achieved; with the use of seeds. While propagating seeds to grow orach, the seeds are sown in full sun to a partial shade for approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost for the area concerned. The seeds are sown 1/4 or 1/2 inch deep with a spacing of 2 inches apart horizontally afoot to 18 inches apart. If the germination temperature is between 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, that is 10 to 18 degrees celsius, the seeds sprout within 7 to 14 days. The next step then is to thin the seedlings to 6 to 12 inches in the row. These thinning of the seedlings can then be consumed or tossed into salads. The orach plant works fine as a container planting as well. There is very little care needed to maintain it.
Purple Orach Types
Orach is a herb grown annually that usually comes in four common varieties. Now, what are those varieties? The four kinds of orach include white orach, red orach, green orach or Lee’s Giant orach, and copper-colored orach, which is less commonly grown.
A white orach has a color of more pale green to yellow leaves, rather than a touch of white. Among all of the varieties of an orach grown, the white orach is common and grown most often. Then, the other category of orach is red, having dark red leaves and stems. An edible and beautiful red orach is a red plume. The third variety of an orach is Lee’s Giant orach or green orach. It is a vigorous varietal accompanying dark green rounded leaves, stout stem, and an angular branching habit. The fourth variety of an orach mentioned above is copper-coloured orach that is not very common.