The Orach plant is part of the Atriplex species and is also known as a “saltbush.” It grows in salty soil on coastlines and can be found in Northeast Asia, the Middle East, North America, Southern Europe, and North Africa. The plant usually grows three to four feet tall and has leaves which grow up to two inches in length.

The Red Orach is the most commonly eaten cultivar. It is an annual, cool season leaf vegetable. Young leaves may be harvested from late spring through fall, and the plants will continue growing for multiple harvests. It is referred to as French Spinach and was grown in Mediterranean regions until spinach became the more favored vegetable.

Orach has a mild chard-like flavor but tastes saltier than most greens as the minerals from the soil are stored in the plant’s leaves. Orach leaves are used cold or cooked, and can be used like spinach or chard, or stuffed like cabbage leaves. When purchasing orach, look for tender, young leaves with a ruby red sheen when you hold them to the sun.

In Season

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Available From

Recipes with Orach

Articles about Orach

August 01, 2014

Rabbits, Pigs, and Herbs in Marin County

Take a behind-the-scenes look at Devil’s Gulch Ranch and Allstar Organics in Nicasio.

July 31, 2014

Volunteers of the Month: Summer Interns

CUESA says farewell and thanks to our summer interns, Janelle, Henry, and, Sarah.

July 25, 2014

The Great Tomato Debate

Confused by terms like heirloom, open-pollinated, hybrid, and GMO? We’ll help you sort them out.

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »