Garden Orache
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Garden Orache
A Introduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Garden Orache • Kashmiri: Vasta Haak • Kannada: ಚಕ್ವಾತ chakvata, ಚಕ್ಕೋತನಸೊಪ್ಪು chakkotanasoppu
Botanical name: Atriplex hortensis    Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Atriplex rubra, Atriplex purpurea

Garden Orache is a hardy, annual plant, with an erect, branching stem, 2-6 feet depending on the variety and soil. Lleaves are variously shaped, but somewhat oblong, comparatively thin in texture, and slightly acidic to the taste; the flowers are small and obscure, greenish or reddish, corresponding in a degree with the color of the foliage of the plant; the seeds are small, black, and surrounded with a thin, pale-yellow membrane. They retain their vitality for three years. The garden orache has a salty, spinach-like taste. 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. It is very popular in Kashmir as a leafy vegetable.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Srinagar, Kashmir.

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