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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae | Coix

1. Coix lacryma-jobi Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 972. 1753.

薏苡 yi yi

Annual. Culms erect, robust, 1–3 m tall, more than 10-noded, branched. Leaves cauline; leaf sheaths shorter than internodes, glabrous; leaf blades linear-lanceolate, usually glabrous, 10–40 × 1.5–7 cm, midvein stout, base subrounded or cordate, margins scabrous, apex acute; ligule 0.6–1.2 mm. Male raceme 1.5–4 cm, spikelets in pairs with terminal triad; utricle ovoid to cylindrical, usually bony, shiny, 7–11 × 6–10 mm, white, bluish or gray-brown, sometimes with apical beak. Male spikelets oblong-ovate, 6–9 mm; glumes many-veined, lower glume winged on keels, wings 0.4–0.8 mm wide, wing margin ciliolate; anthers 4–5 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun–Dec. 2n = 20.

Streams, marshy valleys, moist fields, by houses, often cultivated. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam].

This species is now widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world (Job's Tears). There are many variants, of which the following are the most distinct.

1 Utricle cylindrical or bottle-shaped, much longer than broad.   1b var. stenocarpa
+ Utricle spherical to ovoid   (2)
2 (1) Utricle soft, striate.   1d var. ma-yuen
+ Utricle bony, polished   (3)
3 (2) Utricle ovoid, 7–11 mm long.   1a var. lacryma-jobi
+ Utricle globose, 4–5 mm in diam.   1c var. puellarum


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