Coix lacryma jobi

Syn. Coix lacryma



Decorative and useful plant

Beads and cereals



   Larmes de Job, herbe à chapelet, larmille, larmille des Indes, grain de Job, coix, graine de Job, herbe à collier, graine chapelet, grenn a chaplé, gwenn chaplé, gwenn maldyoc, gwenn job, lagrimas de San Pedro, camándulas, Job's tears, Mary's tears, lagrimas de Job, lagrimas de Moises, zacare de perla, cuenta de la Virgen, Santa Lucia, Santa Maria, ...








Tropical Asia





Shrub with large stalks and leaves, the fruit is oval, shiny capsule, becoming grey bleue. Can reach 2 meters.




Cultivated or wild, wasteland.


Culture and care


Support all type of soil but prefers to be near water. Flowering time is October to May. Full sun to partial shade is the good exposure. You can put them in a cold greenhouse during winter. Easy to grow, fast growing. Cut back severely early spring to insure abondant flowering.



The propagation is made by seeds. You can put them in warm water for a night before seedling in greenhouse, then separate the plants and put each of them in a small conteiner. Seeds will sprout in about 2-4 weeks. Plant them in soil in February or direct seedling in Mai (warm places).




Medicinal use



Retention of urine, worms, diabetes  (Dr Longuefosse)


Parts used


Stems, roots and seeds


Directions for use








Ornemental use


Cultivated for decoration, in hedges, in an isolated plant or in slopes.


Alimentary use



Used in Asia as a cereal, as a substitute of coffee, to prepare fermented beverages, flour, starch.


Other uses


Used to fabricate teething rings, rosaries, bracelets, jewelry, handbags, embroidery and door curtains.





The chape, appearance and colour of the fruit, giving rise to its name. Coix could derive from the Greek "kóïx" that signs a palm, compared to the diaspores that resemble the fruit of the latter. Lacryma means «tears» and Job is a biblical character famous for his misfortunes, referring to the form and color of the seeds.





In northeastern India, the Naga ethnic group brews a beer based on this cereal called "Dzu".


In New Caledonia, root infusion is prescribed in case of poisoning by ingestion of fish rendered poisonous by ciguatera.


Mexican healers from the Tarahumara tribe carry Job’s tears to protect themselves from disease and some similar Colombian amulets are used to cure rheumatism.


Botanist Ruth Smith, reports a Cherokee Indian legend about Job’s Tears: They say that when their tribe was exiled from North Carolina to Oklahoma, Tears fell on the ground during this painful and painful journey. Young plants then emerged from the ground where the tears had touched the ground. They grew and produced these blue-grey tear-shaped sheaths.Today the Cherokee still collect these floral tears to make necklaces to remember this forced exile.





Job Tears flour does not contain gluten.


Chinese researchers have isolated anti-cancer molecules in the plant.



Its foliage serves as fodder for the animals and the stems are braided for the manufacture of mats and roofs.


The seeds are naturally pierced.