The Most Fascinating Plant
Adults and children find Job's Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi) a fascinating plant. The seeds are large and easily planted by children, making Job's Tears a good selection in a Children's Garden. Botanically and as a natural food source, Job's Tears is a member of the family Poaceae (grass family) and is considered a gluten-free, whole grain.
We grow Job's Tears in pots on a sunny porch. To me, the tall green blades look similar to lemon grass. By the end of the summer at around this time (early September), perfectly round bead seeds emerge like magic.
The seeds develop a hard outer shell and are much too difficult to hull the quantity needed for use as a whole grain. Hulled Job's Tears (hato mugi) grain can be found in Korean specialty markets.
When left on the plant to mature, green seeds the size of canna seeds - about 1/4-inch in diameter - eventually turn darker in color. Homegrown seeds can then be picked, dried and saved to grow more plants the following season or used as actual beads in jewelry making.
Job's Tears, A Fascinating Plant
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