One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of the goosefoot family with leaves that are sometimes covered in a white mealy substance. Several kinds are edible and can be used as a substitute for spinach or sorrel.
Genus Atriplex, family Chenopodiaceae: several species, in particular the common orache (A. hortensis), which is cultivated in some areas
- ‘This fresh picked basket of red orach is headed to the kitchen where it will be cooked like spinach.’
- ‘Orach can be cooked, but most varieties lose their bright colors.’
- ‘The plant can also be called mountain spinach, or orach.’
- ‘Spinach was a better green vegetable than the goosefoots, sorrels, orach, and similar plants which were widely used in medieval Europe, and gradually usurped their place.’
- ‘To the side I heaped up a pile of purple orach, and of course we set out piles of business cards and brochures along with an open photo album.’
Middle English orage, from Anglo-Norman French arasche, from Latin atriplex, from Greek atraphaxus.
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