List of Sweet Corn Colors
This is a list of the most commonly cultivated varieties of sweet corn. Corn (Zea mays) is also known as maize. In addition to being delicious, nourishing, and fun to grow, corn, particularly the colored varieties, is highly ornamental; cobs can be dried and used as decorations in the home.
Genetically modified varieties only available to large-scale commercial growers, such as Bt corn and glyphosate-resistant corn, are not listed.
Yellow corn comes from the sweet corn variety and is available year-round. It is considered a grain, a vegetable, and a fruit depending on its maturity and use. This type of corn is actually developed from a series of research and studies on white corn. Yellow corn has a single (dominant) Y allele making it produce carotenoid pigments.
Some white corn is generally categorized as a variety of sweet corn. While most corn is of the field corn variety (i.e. treated as a grain), sweet corn is harvested during the immature stage and treated as a vegetable. White sweet corn is actually a mutation of the regular field corn with a higher sugar than a starch ratio of content.
Bicolor corn offers both white and yellow kernels all on the same cob, or ear, of corn. The mature cobs measure between 18 and 22 centimeters long and are wrapped in tight layers of dark to pale green husks. Each cob contains 12 to 14 rows of bi-colored kernels, which are roughly 25% white kernels and 75% yellow kernels. They contain a high percentage of sugar and water and when at their peak of maturity will be tender, sweet, and succulent. If not used within a few days, the sugars will begin to convert to starch, creating a doughy flavor and consistency.
When the rainbow corn mixed with the traditional varieties it created new strains. Each year of successive planting, the corn displayed more vibrant colors and vivid patterns. Multicolored varieties are usually at their sweetest when their mature color just starts to “blush” on the kernels.
5) Black Corn
‘Black Aztec’ Heirloom Sweetcorn variety
Beautiful black corn, dates back to the 1800s in the seed trade but is the corn grown by the Aztecs over 2000 years ago. It’s a good choice for cornmeal or flour, beautiful decorating corn, and can also be eaten as fresh corn when picked in its milk stage. An ear of real multi-purpose corn.
6) Red Black Corn
Known in the U.S. since 1845; originally from Virginia. Plants grow up to 3 1/2 m (12′) tall and have at least two ears per stalk; each ear is 20-30cm (8-12″) long. Striking maroon and red-black kernels. Used for flour, cornmeal, or corn-on-the-cob when young. Good drought tolerance. Great for autumn decorations.
7) Blue Corn
‘Cutie Blues’ Blue Rice Popcorn
Solid dark blue seeded popcorn. Unique, dark blue, uniform seeds on small cobs. Watch those kids take a special interest in that garden of yours the day that you plant popcorn seed. A pure deep dusty blue mini corn for popping!
8) Red Corn
‘Red Aztec’ Heirloom Field Corn
This is a rare heirloom variety producing medium-sized cobs with red kernels. The ancient variety was once used by the Aztecs. Sowing time – Spring-Summer (or when the soil temperature is more than 20 degrees C) Must have full sun position, sow 25mm deep, emerge 6-10 days. Harvest 90 days.
9) Purple Corn
Purple Corn has been cultivated in Peru for thousands of years. All Purple Corn strains originate from ancient purple corn which is known as Kculli. It has long been revered by the indigenous peoples where it is known as “the plant of remembrance”.
10) Green Corn
Emerald green kernels for cornmeal. Originally from Southern Mexico, this dent corn (pronounced wä hä’ kän) produces ears anywhere from 6″ to 10″. Can also be used for decoration.
11) Pink Corn
A unique colored and early ripening popcorn! Bears 5-6″ ears with pleasing pink kernels that pop to a classic white. Ears can be dried and used for decoration as well. Plants grow to 5′. Early ripening in just 85 days. The kernels of pink are much the same as our miniature pink popcorn- pink to mauve to light purple. This variety should mature in high altitudes or northern latitudes. A small percentage of ears will be pink “Bearclaw” – another interesting characteristic of this appealing variety.
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