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Water en land

Mens en Milieu

Orache species


Shore: 30 to 100 centimeters
Babington's: 30 to 60 centimeters
Frosted: 20 to 60 centimeters
Hastate: 20 to 90 centimeters


leaf: green


July through September


shore: wind


seed, spread bij seawater and wind



  • Dut: Strandmelde
  • Lat: Atriplex littoralis
  • Eng: Shore Orache
  • Fren: Arroche littorale
  • Ger: Strand-Melde



  • Dut: Kustmelde
  • Lat: Atriplex glabriuscula
  • Ger: Graue Melde
  • Eng: Babington's Orache
  • Fren: Aroche de Babington



  • Dut: Gelobde melde
  • Lat: Atriplex laciniata
  • Ger: Sand Melde (Gelappte Melde)
  • Eng: Frosted orache
  • Fre: Aroche des sables
  • Dan: Sølv-Mælde



  • Dut: Spiesmelde
  • Lat: Atriplex prostrata
  • Eng: Spear-leaved Orache, Thin-leaved Orache, Triangle Orache
  • Fren: Arroche hastee
  • Ger: Spiessblättrige Melde (Spiessmelde)
  • Dan: Spydmælde
Shore orache, Ecomare, Sytske Dijksen

Orache species

There are several species of orache notable for the coast. Shore orache grows on the beach in the flood mark and along the borders of salt marshes and sea dikes. Babington's orache and spear-leaved orache grow between stones on sea dikes, above the high-tide water line. Frosted orache is also a species of the flood mark, particularly when it is made up of brown seaweed buried in sand. Oraches are commonly called saltbushes, thanks to the fact that their leaves retain so much salt.

On Texel

, Ecomare, Salko de Wolf

Various species of orache grow on the Schorren salt marsh. The tough stems make good material for bird nests. The spoonbills that brood on the Schorren use orache stems to build tall nests, sometimes more than a half meter high. That is not a luxury. If their nests are too low to the ground, strong spring tides will wash away the eggs, the chicks and even the nest.

  • Shore orache
    Shore orache, Ecomare

    Shore orache is a characteristic species for flood mark vegetation, growing on  beaches and along the borders of marshes and sea dikes. You often find it together with sea rocket, prickly saltwort and Babington's orache. These are all plants which prefer nutrient-rich strokes of washed-up materials which are not buried under the sand. Should you find shore orache further inland, then it is an indication of very salty soil. In Europe, it is bonded to sea coasts. It is commonly found in the delta region and on the Wadden Islands in the Netherlands.

  • Babington's orache
    Babington's orache , Foto Fitis,

    Babington's orache grows in the same places as common and spear-leaved orache, namely between stones on sea dikes above the high-tide line. Without its fruit in September, it is often difficult to distinguish these plants from one another. Babington's orache dies soon after bearing fruit. The species is found along sea coasts of Northwest and Northern Europe. In the Netherlands, Babington's orache has only been found up till now on the Wadden Islands, in the delta region and along the Afsluitdijk (IJsselmeer Causeway).

  • Frosted orache
    Frosted orache, bas-kers (

    The leaves of frosted orache are covered in flaky hairs, giving it a frosty look. If you scrape off this layer and hold the leaf up to the light, you can practically look through it. The chlorophyll is only present along the veins, otherwise the leaf is transparent.

    Frosted orache is found along the coast from Brittany to Southern Scandinavia and along the British Islands. It is rare in the Netherlands. Although it used to grow sporadically along the coasts of North and South Holland and Friesland, the species is now only found in the delta region and on the Wadden Islands. The species is so rare because its habitat is so specific. It needs a flood mark made up of lots of washed up brown seaweed covered in a layer of sand in a sheltered area that doesn't wash away too readily. Winding coasts with lots of bays offer the best germination and survival chances.

  • Spear-leaved orache
    Hastate Orache, Foto Fitis,

    Unlike Babington's and frosted orache, spear-leaved orache is very common along the Dutch coast. Its leaves resemble spears. Spear-leaved orache is found mostly along the coast, on humus-rich flood marks, along the edges of salt marshes and between the stones of sea dikes. More inland, it grows on damp, clayish, nitrogen-rich ground, such as river banks, and sometimes on farmland, on dunghills and in the shoulders of roads. Spear-leaved orache is can be eaten as a vegetable. After all, it is distantly related to spinach!