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PlantFiles: Job's Tears, Bead Seeds, Juno's Tears
Coix lacryma-jobi

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Coix (KOH-iks) (Info)
Species: lacryma-jobi (LAK-ry-muh JOB-ee) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

39 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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5 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Shirrush On Nov 8, 2012, Shirrush from Ramat Gan
Israel wrote:

A few Job's Tears beads "stuck to my fingers" when I visited Paris' Jardin des Plantes last month. I've sown four of them in two pots filled with my usual seedling mixture. Two of these seeds were lightly scarified with a nail file to aid germination. A full week has passed since then. Does anybody know how long this plant takes to emerge at around 20 Celsius? Nobody grows Coix lacryma-jobi here in Central Israel, and I really want our Community Garden to be the first!

By the way, if you happen to be in Paris, the Jardin des Plantes and the nearby Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle are a must! Seriously!

Positive AngieSollecito On Jul 1, 2010, AngieSollecito from Menlo Park, CA wrote:

I was given 2 seeds while on vacation in Antigua in 2007. I kept the seeds for 2 and a half years on my dresser, and decided to try and propagate them in 2009. The first seed sprouted and then died shortly after. The second seed took a month to sprout, but now it is an extremely healthy 2 feet tall with several off-shoots at the base.
I had no idea what the plant was for the longest time so I tried a google search for "grass with hard gray seeds" or something like that, and I actually got results back and was able to find out the name of my mystery grass. Apparently it is very rare in California, and nobody knows what it is here. I am glad to have this plant.

Positive ismaelm On Nov 24, 2009, ismaelm from Mayagüez
Puerto Rico wrote:

My goodness! This plant is known in Puerto Rico as "camándulas." They used to be found near streams. I haven't seen them since the 1980s, something must have happened...Our native dwellers (the Tainos) used them as decorations such as necklaces, wrist bands and ankle bands.
The seeds are wonderful! Their color can turn from almost white (gray) to a dark purple.

Positive wind On Aug 25, 2008, wind from Mount Laurel, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I started this from seed from a DG seed swap. It is growing well in a large pot on our front porch, surrounded by purple petunias along the base. It sort of reminds me of a short corn stalk; stays green all summer and is just now showing its bead seeds (Aug. 25). I plan on overwintering it indoors.

Positive WUVIE On Jun 6, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

While Job's Tears are one of my favorites to grow each
year, I find they can be tricky to get going at times.

Simply fill a pot (with drainholes) of your choice with good
quality soil, set the pot in standing water and poke the seeds
into the soil. I've grown Job's in many different ways, but find
this to be a foolproof method, provided the temperatures are
not too cool. Great pot to sink (not submerge completely) into
one's pond.

In a short time, all of the sprouts will appear and thrive well.


Positive kennyso On May 10, 2006, kennyso from Markham, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

These are used to make rosaries and other prayer beads. Rosaries made from these are a great hit with the people at my church. Mother Theresa was extremely fond of these seeds. The late pope John Paul II and Bl. Mother Theresa are often pictured holding a rosary madefrom these.

Neutral Crimson On Oct 27, 2001, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

The Japanese name - Juzu Dama - means Buddhist rosary beads.

Neutral Badseed On Sep 5, 2001, Badseed from Hillsboro, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is usually grown for it's pearl or stone looking seeds. They have been used for centuries as beads for jewelry ('Good Luck' necklaces) and rosaries. The seeds when ripe can be any color from pearly gray to pure black. The mature seeds grow with a pre-made hole through the center and can be stained with common wood stains. The plant itself is often grown as an ornamental grass that somewhat resembles corn. It easily grows four or more feet tall in my zone 6 garden and does manage to leave a few seeds to self seed the following year.
In the Orient, the seeds are eaten as a cereal called "Adlay". This plant is a perennial there, as well as in zones 9 and 10, but grown elsewhere as an annual. In these warmer climates, Job's Tears can easily reach ten feet tall.
This plant will also do well in wet areas. According to on-line sources, this plant will grow best in partial shade and 'tolerate' full sun. To date, my largest plants at about five feet tall and blooming, are in full sun. :)


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Menlo Park, California
Rincon, Georgia
Hilo, Hawaii
Sunman, Indiana
Marshalltown, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Madisonville, Kentucky
Lafayette, Louisiana
Opelousas, Louisiana
Slaughter, Louisiana
Mathiston, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Chillicothe, Ohio
Dundee, Ohio
Lynchburg, Ohio
Mansfield, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Westmoreland, Tennessee
Seattle, Washington

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