Jewels of Opar

ddunbar(z5 IN)August 21, 2004

I have a huge amount of this beauty in my garden and would love to preserve it. Any hints or tips as it is so delicate?



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I hang it in the garage upside down with rubber bands to dry. It makes a nice filler. The seed pods darken when dried. EP

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 10:52PM
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I want to contribute a little more here. For those not familiar with Jewels of Opar.. it is a pretty plant that comes up volunteer in our gardens in early summer. It has a rosette of smooth ovular basil leaves and sends up stems a foot tall or more.. has tiny pink flowers which become tiny globular seed capsules filled with tiny black seed. It took us several years to identify the plants , not even a local botanist knew what it was..eventually found it on the internet. The seed capsules are a brilliant orange and red (like tiny 'jewels') and are beautiful but the stems and capsules darken when dry and some of the capsules will shatter from the stems. I am continually experimenting and learning from the internet and other sources. Recently, read that florists are now using the floral stems as filler instead of gypsophilia. Also , by experimenation, have found that by spraying the dried stems of seed capsules with a metalic spray paint, the stems have more potential for filler in dried arrangements or wreaths and the paint also helps keep the seed capsules from disengaging from the stem. Hope sharing this will be beneficial. Here is a link. EP

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 3, 2004 at 1:01PM
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sylky00(z6 KY)

I agree w/ Enchanted-Jewels of Opar is a very nice plant-I'm surprised not to see it used more. It does 'shed' a little, but I still like it. The stems dry almost black, and the pods are lighter, which gives it an unusual look.
Even if you don't use it for drying, the very bright,fleshy green leaves of the plant are striking, & they stay that way all thru the summer.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2004 at 9:24AM
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There's a variegated version (haven't grown it) and one with golden foliage (I've been looking for seeds of the golden to grow next's a wholesaler's photo). By the way, when you Google "Jewels of Opar" you get lots of links to Tarzan books...anyone know why? josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Jewels of Opar

    Bookmark   September 5, 2004 at 9:02AM
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Title of a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs :"Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar" So maybe he named it after the plant or the plant was named for the book... anyway, the seed capsules are as beautiful and colorful as tiny jewels. EP

Here is a link that might be useful: book

    Bookmark   September 5, 2004 at 6:52PM
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botanical link

Here is a link that might be useful: botanical link

    Bookmark   September 5, 2004 at 9:20PM
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Thanks for the links. Pleased to find it's native to south so should do well here, and surprised to learn it might grow to 4 feet. josh

    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 8:32AM
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flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)

I guess there was just a book about tarzan called jewels of opar...... Maybe one in a series????? :) P.S. I have the talinum kingswood gold seeds..... can't wait to see them grow...... I think these berries would be pretty in a fall wreath and I love bright foliage..... That's talinum paniculatum.... :)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2004 at 3:28PM
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Would like to add that a wall swag I did with the dried Jewels of Opar seed stems came out beautiful. I first used the metalic spray paint and then some gold glitter paint. Added a bow of gold wired ribbon. It would be beautiful with some dried santolina flowers or love-in-a mist pods sprayed with the glitter paint.. EP

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 8:22AM
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I decided to find this thread and bring it back up because I have been harvesting these little 'jewels'. The dried and sprayed seed capsule stems are beautiful incorporated into baskets with dried flowers. I see that most of the links previously shared are still available for for information. This little plant is one I have seen only in our own garden that returns voluntarily each year and the only care it needs is being thinned out if it self sows too prolifically. EP

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 11:31AM
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EP, I browsed your homepage..your cornhusk figures are charming. And aren't those Job's Tears beautiful? So much fun playing with nature's bounty. josh

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 2:51AM
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Thank you Josh! Just about everyone I know has something I have made hanging from their wall, Christmas tree, or neck. The Job's tears, corn husk dolls, and basket weaving are all traditional Cherokee crafts. Isn't it nice to be able to share information and pictures thru our home pages. There's a lot to appreciate and enjoy thru sharing. EP

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 6:07PM
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I find the kingswood gold to be better than plain green color jewel of opar.
I grew them in a huge pot under my amorphophallus konjac
this year. With stringy sedum as my trailing plant- hanging over the sides. I had to water it maybe 3 times- the entire summer- so easy.

I'm going to try the spray paint idea. thx

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 9:02AM
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