Purple Orach (Minnesota Naturalized)
Origin: Duluth, Minnesota
Improvement status: Cultivated material
Seeds per pack: ~80
Germination tested 11/2020: 52%
Life cycle: Annual
Orach is a salad or cooking green related to Lamb's Quarters, from the Amaranthaceae family and Chenopodioideae subfamily. It can be used as a spinach or sorrel substitute and is great in salads or cooked.
Orach is an annual plant. This variety comes from the garden of our friend Francois Medion, of Duluth, Minnesota, where it has become a 'naturalized' fixture in his backyard, as it re-seeds itself each year and comes back on its own. Francois is a talented bread maker and market gardener. If you stop into the Duluth Grill, right off I-35 as you are entering into Duluth, you may just be eating some of his locally grown vegetables!
As you can see in the photo from Dusty's mom's garden, there are some green genetics in this mostly purple population. This year's seeds were produced by Lorna Koestner in Duluth.
**A great plant for edible landscapers given its ability to naturalize and compete with other weedy plants.**
GROWING TIPS: Direct seed after danger of last frost. Plants grow upright, they can get 4 feet tall or more, and they can be grown relatively close to each other (3-6 inches between plants is good). If all goes well they may need just one weeding or maybe none at all, as they can pop out of the soil, out-compete weeds, create a canopy, and dominate an area.