Corn Races: Photographs and Information

I have been browsing the ars-grin and found that they have have an extensive list of different corn races.

There is also this pdf book which talks about corn races.
Stephen Smith has also written a book about corn and talks about many of the races found in the above book, but he does it with less detail, from a personal perspective, and also talks about growing and cultivation aspects. Stephen sold seeds at one point but apparently stopped and the associated links are also defunct. His catalog has interesting collections.

This CIMMYT flicker photo stream has beautiful photos of corn races from Mexico, about half-way down this page and onto the next page. I found these do a good job at highlighting the visual distinctions, or similarities, between races.

Piricinco race from Peru


An interesting find.
What a beautiful corn that Piricinco is.

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for the sake of sharing my pleasure , here is a picture of some of my corn. I am amazed by the colours, especially since I have no memory of sowing anything looking like that. But last year, I grew various corns groups relatively close.
What do you think these are ?


Those are beautiful! It reminds me of painted hill? I think there’s another highly colorful pop and flint corn as well, something along those lines. It’s like a cob of fruity pebbles cereal. What were the plants like?

plants were shoulder height . help me distinguish which grains are flint / pop
I would thing the more round ones would be pop and the ones that are squeezed flat are flint ? how about those that are half / half ?
I really need to get more knowledgeable with corn identification !

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Popcorn and flint is often the hardest corn kernel type, filled with the hardest starch. Dent corn is a mix of hard starch and softer starch in the same kernel. Flour corn is all soft starch. You won’t really know if it is popcorn unless you try popping some. This can be quite fun. I did a bunch of chapalote ears this way, popping about 40 or 50 kernels from each ear and saving the ears that popped best and with the best flavor. These look like either flour or popcorn/flint. This diagram may help.

You can read more in-depth about the types here: Types of Corn – Native-Seeds-Search


thank you very much. Very usefull website and chart.
so the key to identification is to cut some of them to see how hard is the interior and/ or to try to pop some.

last picture that amazes me : these grains are big and round and they have a sort of spike . does the spike mean anything about the content of the grain ?

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Those look flinty to me. Some flints, like Floriani, have that spiky point on the tip. It definitely isn’t dent. So either flint, flour, or pop. But, since you say it is a diverse population, you can get a mix of different starch types within a single cob. I love the look of these.

I am struggling to identify this corn seed.
Is that because once it is dry, it’s inherently difficult to identify?
-or can someone tell from this picture what kind of corn this is?

I just mean sweet/flour/pop.
Nothing more specific than that.

I’ve tried to look carefully at the diagram,
but if those are fresh kernels diagramed,
I don’t have confidence in my best guess.

Thank you so much! That jives with my best but faulty memory of what I put out there.
I appreciate you responding.

Oh those kernels looks super cool. If you have any to share I would like to have them. Maybe next time that we swap.

I threshed them at the end of last year. Did you want full ears ? or just a sample of seeds ?

A sample of seeds is enough for me.

Super graph and resource for starters, like me! It is a great place to start with corn. I was a bit confused prior to that. Thanks @Lowell_McCampbell

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