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Yi Yi Coix lacryma-jobi

Other 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.  In the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee the beads of Job's tears ae used in personal attire.

Full sun to part shade; moist to wet soil.

See this plant in the following landscape:
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
var. ma-yuen, var. puellarum, var. stenocarpa
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
var. ma-yuen, var. puellarum, var. stenocarpa
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
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    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. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Woody Plant 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:
    8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Gray/Silver
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
    Fruit Description:
    Tear-shaped pseudocarp, hard and round. Seeds of certain varieties can be used as a grain.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Monoecious– flowers are different sexes, but individual plants produce both
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil