Job's Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi)

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Job's Tears is a tropical grass native to Southeast Asia, and has been naturalized in Southern America as well as the Caribbean. Job's Tears is a member of the grass and rice family of plants (poaceae).  Wide ornamental blades grow upright and arch at their ends. Long, beautiful spikes of grain are produced in the warm seasons, swelling into gorgeous strings of seeds that resemble pearls, or tears. This unique grain is often described as resembling barley in both size, color and form.

The plant is self-seeding annually, and is a perennial around the east coast and in warmer climates. This plant creates an excellent textured foliage, making it a great hedge plant. It's also well-suited to grow in containers, easily reaching heights of 4 to 6ft. It is best to plant Job's Tears during the rainy season, in Spring (right now!!).  Grain heads will sprout and be ready for ample harvest as the weather becomes more dry.  

Job's Tears has several edible uses, primarily as a cereal grain. In Asia it is commonly used to make grain alcohol that is often sweetened and combined with spices. A milk like drink similar to Horchata can be made from the grains as well.  Medicinally, the bran is known to have cancer fighting properties. The pea-shaped grains of the plant naturally have a hole that easily allows for stringing of the grains. They are moisture resistant, and durable and are often used to make necklaces and rosaries due to the added symbolism of the tear-shape.

Plant Type
Perennial Tropical Grass, can be grown as an Annual in colder climates

Harvest Season
Spring, Summer, Fall

Mature Size
Up to 6 ft.

Soil & Moisture
Moist, well-draining sandy soil

Light Requirements
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile

Growth Rate

Zone Hardiness
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation

Plant Care

Plant Type: Perennial Tropical Grass, can be grown as an Annual in colder climates 

Harvest Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Size: 3 to 6 ft

Soil & Moisture: Moist, well-draining sandy soil

Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Zones

Climate Zones: USDA plant hardiness Zones 9-11

Can be grown as an annual in temperate regions.

Patio Planting Zones: 4+

All of our tropical fruiting plants can be grown in small or large containers in northern zones or planted outside in warmer climates.

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