Jewels of Opar is coming up in my yard, just now in late summer. I would be surprised, but purslane is coming up, too. I tend to forget how late the purslane arrives! Jewels of Opar and purslane are in the same plant family, and the food qualities of the two are similar, as well.
The leaves of both are a little slimy inside, and they both have a mild flavor. I snack on both as I work in my garden in late summer. Jewels of Opar in my yard is missing that slightly tart quality of purslane, but both make good additions to a salad.
They both also are reported to contain some oxalic acid, like spinach does. Anyone who is troubled by oxalic acid in food should probably cook them first. When you pour off the cooking water, most of the soluble oxalic acid will go out with the water.
However, if you are looking for a “stealth” food crop to grow in a neighborhood that doesn’t allow edible plants in the front yard, Jewels of Opar is one to try.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE) sells seeds for this plant. In my yard, Jewels of Opar acts like an annual, tossing its seeds at the end of summer to come up as plants, in random locations, the following year. The SESE information says that the plant is perennial in zones 8-and-warmer. Other sites suggest that it is perennial beginning in zone 9a.
The traits of self-sowing and being perennial in warm-enough areas might make this plant a useful addition to a permaculture planting.
I transplanted my first Jewels of Opar plant years ago from our Plant A Row for the Hungry garden, where it was a consistent volunteer (just like I was!). Since then, it has popped up around the yard every year.