Coix is a tall ornamental perennial grass that can also be cultivated as an annual. It resembles corn and grows 3'-6' tall and features jointed stems with long flat leaf blades. Male and female flowers are borne on the same plant and bloom in the late summer. It is considered one of the earliest domesticated plants. Linnaeus gave the botanical name in 1753, relying upon an existing popular reference for the tear shaped pods to the Book of Job and it has also been called St. Mary’s tears. Container suitable. The seeds are popular for making decorations and have herbal and medicinal uses.
The plants grow a pre-drilled, polished bead that can be used to make an endless assortment of necklaces, bracelets, and other baubles. The male flower grows up through the center of the bead. When removed, it leaves a hollow core just right for stringing. One popular application is making rosaries and jewelry as the beads are especially resistant to damage by moisture. The beads are often called Blessing Beads and Power beads.