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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Atriplex hortensis (Orache)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Core Eudicots > Order: Caryophyllales > Family: Amaranthaceae; > Subfamily: Chenopodioideae > Genus: Atriplex

An annual herb that grows to a height of about 2 m and which is native to southeastern Europe and western Asia. Fresh leaves are cooked and eaten like spinach and are also added to soups. However, it is rarely eaten as a vegetable these days. More often, it is grown as a garden plant, its attractiveness stemming from the leaf colours, which include green, yellow and red.


  • van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World - Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.