Wild Food Plants
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There is a group of plants called Orache which are edible. Atriplex Hortensis is the one most worth cultivating as it is a strikingly beautiful plant as the photo shows. It's particularly splendid with back lighting! As well as the red leaved variety there is orange and green.
Atriplexes are members of the chenopodiaceae group which contains many edible plants - Good King Henry, Beets, Oraches, Purslanes, and Glassworts (Samphire) so if you are into edible plants it is a group well worth investigating.
A. Hortensis is edible raw in salads and may be used as a spinach substitute. Whilst the leaves, particularly the young ones, are of very acceptable texture, they do not have a lot of flavour so are best for adding interesting colour to a mixed salad. Or simply growing for their architectural splendour! For best growth they need a rich soil: the chenopodiaceae are mostly greedy plants.
We first came across the plant when we visited Osborn house in the Isle of Wight, from where we acquired some seeds. Photo taken 14th July 2002.