The Universal Herbal: Atriplex Hortensis; Garden Orache.

The Universal Herbal;
or botanical, medical and agricultural dictonary.
Containing an account of All the known Plants in the World, arranged according to the Linnean system. Specifying the uses to which they are or may be applied, whether as food, as medicine, or in the arts and manufactures.
With the best methods of propagation, and the most recent agricultural improvements.
collected from indisputable Authorities.
Adapted to the use of the farmer - the gardener - the husbandman - the botanist - the florist - and country housekeepers in general.
By Thomas Green.
Vol. I
Printed at the Caxton Press by Henri Fisher.
Printer in Ordinary to His Majesty.
Stem erect, herbaceous; leaves triangular; root annual; stem three feet high, and more, thick, shining. — It is a native of Tartary. There are three or four varieties of this, differing only in the colour of the plants; one is of a deep green, another of a dark purple, and a third with green leaves and purple borders. It is used of many, says Parkinson, boiled and buttered, to make the stomach and belly soluble, and is put among other herbs into the pot, to make pottage. There are many dishes of meat made with it while it is young; for being almost without savour, it is the more convertible into what relish any one will make it, with sugar, spice, &c. It was formerly cultivated in the kitchen-gardens, as a culinary herb, being used as spinage, and is now by some persons preferred to it, though in general it is not esteemed among the English; but the French cultivate this plant for use. The red orache is formed to dye wool of a good olive colour. This must be sown for use early in the spring, or at Michaelmas, soon after the seeds are ripe, at which time it generally succeeds better than when it is sown in the spring, and will be fit for use at least a month earlier. These plants require no other culture, but to boe them when they are about an inch high, to cut them down when they are too thick, leaving them about four inches asunder, and also to cut down all the weeds. This must be done in dry weather, otherwise the weeds will take root again, and render the work of little or no use. When the plants are grown about four inches high, it will be proper to hoe them a second time, in order to clear them from weeds; and if you observe the plants are left too close in any part, they should then be cut out. If this he well performed, and in dry weather, the ground will remain clean until the plant is fit for use. Where it is sown on a rich soil, and the plants are allowed a proper distance, the leaves will be very large, and in that the excellence of the herb consists. It must be eaten when young, for when the stalks become tough, they are good for nothing. The seeds will ripen in August, when the plants may be cut or pulled up, and laid on a cloth to dry; after which the seeds may be beaten out, and laid up in bags for use.

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