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Coix lacryma-jobi

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KOY LAH-krih-mah JOH-bee
Description

A tropical perennial grass grew as an annual.  Native to Southeast Asia, but has naturalized in much of the southern United States.  Named by Carl Linnaeus after the metaphorical tear of Job.  Some varieties have seeds with hard pseudocarps and are used for jewelry, while others have softer pseudocarps and are used as cereal crops and in folk medicine.

Full sun to part shade; moist to wet soil.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. ma-yuen
    A cultivated variety, soft pseudocarp; South China to peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines; grain crop and in medicine
  • var. puellarum
    Assam to Yunnan (China) and Indochina
  • var. stenocarpa
    Eastern Himalayas to Indochina
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#annual#bright green#ornamental grass#grass#wet sites#moist soil#jewelry#exotic looking
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. ma-yuen
    A cultivated variety, soft pseudocarp; South China to peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines; grain crop and in medicine
  • var. puellarum
    Assam to Yunnan (China) and Indochina
  • var. stenocarpa
    Eastern Himalayas to Indochina
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#annual#bright green#ornamental grass#grass#wet sites#moist soil#jewelry#exotic looking
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Coix
    Species:
    lacryma-jobi
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Jewelry; grain crop; medicine
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeast Asia
    Distribution:
    Southeast Asia, southern US
    Edibility:
    Seeds as grain crop
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 9 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Ornamental Grass
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Gray/Silver
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Fruit Description:
    Tear-shaped pseudocarp, hard and round. Seeds of certain varieties can be used as a grain.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    Flower Description:
    Monoecious– flowers are different sexes, but individual plants produce both
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil