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Botanical: Atriplex hortensis
The Garden Orache, or Mountain Spinach (Atriplex hortensis), is a tall, erect-growing hardy annual, a native of Tartary, introduced into this country in 1548. It is not much cultivated here now, but is grown a good deal in France, under the name of Arroche, for its large and succulent leaves, as a substitute for Spinach and to correct the acidity of Sorrel.
The quality of the spinach yielded by Orache is, however, far inferior to that of Common Spinach, or even of the New Zealand Spinach.
There are several varieties of Orache of various colourings. The White and the Green are the most desirable kinds.
The plants should be grown quickly, in rich soil. They may be sown in rows, 2 feet apart, and thinned out to the same distance apart in the rows, sowings being in May, and for succession, again in June. If dry, water must be freely given so as to maintain a rapid growth.
'Orache is cooling,' says Evelyn, 'and allays the pituit humours.' Being set over the fire, neither this nor the lettuce needs any other water than their own moisture to boil them in.
The name Orache, given to this Goosefoot and others of the same tribe, is a corruption of aurum, gold, because their seeds, mixed with wine, were supposed to cure the ailment known popularly as the 'yellow jaundice.' They excite vomiting.
---Uses---Heated with vinegar, honey and salt and applied, the Orache was considered efficacious to cure an attack of gout.
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