S American Giant Eared Corn

wesserma(6 Boston)March 29, 2007

When I was living in Chile I was amazed by the corn ears that I saw - they were about 7" in diameter, and 2' long. It's usually just referred to as "Choclo" which unfortunately just means "corn". Does anyone know where I can find seeds for that kind of corn, or even what you call it in English? It's what they use to make stews and a few other dishes that I really miss, and sweet corn just isn't a good substitute (it's too sweet).


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You might try posting the same question in the vegetable growing forum. There is a guy named George (MacMex) who has done missionary work in Mexico and other south American countries (I believe) lives in Oklahoma now and is very knowledgable. He posts there some.
Just a thought.
Bill P.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 1:58AM
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If you find this one let me know ! I interests me! I want some also ! There used to be a strain called "Jala Valley Landrace " that grew ears to 3 feet long . However gene contamination from crossbreeding has brought it to now 18 inch ears . I have a strain similar to corn nuts that has kernels the size of a nickle it is called "Peru giant kernel corn" or "cous cous" but the ears are only 12 inches long .

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 11:23AM
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Where did you get the Jala information?

What is most important to answering this question is knowing the town near which this Chilean maize grew. The widest ear of chile is Choclero, and the longest ear is Cristalino Norteno. Thirdly, seed could be obtained from:


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 10:05AM
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wesserma(6 Boston)


When I saw the corn, it was always in the supermarket, so I have no idea where it was really from. I was in Santiago, so it could have been anywhere, but I suspect it was from Maule or O'Higgins.

Regarding the link you added - what are the rules about requesting germ plasm? Do you need to be an actual scientist to get any? I didn't see anything about cost either. Any info you have would be most welcome. The seeds that you linked to are likely the right thing - it's called choclo choclero in Chile.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 8:38PM
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As to Jala valley corn having 3 foot ears I got that from : the "World Book Encyclopedia 1956" and other encyclopedias, and "WRIGGLES FUN FACTS 1972 OR 1973 " WHICH WAS PUBLISHED IN THE Boston globes sunday comic section at the bottom of the first page . The internet and other breeders hve told me that there has been gene contamination from introduced strains endangering the 18 strains of "Jala Valley Landrace". It is hard to grow an ear over 18 inches at this time .

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 12:13PM
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The Chilean ear data came from "Races of Maize in Chile, Timothy"

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 11:01AM
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Check this member out for one: Posted by brian_ny_nj_pa zone 5/6 NY/NJ/ you will find him on the other corn postings here on the giants forum.
Also on the internet I found a study by the University of Michigan on genetic contamination of the 16 or 18 strains of "Jala valley corn" . Do a search on google for "Jala valley corn" and see what you get .

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 11:50AM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)


One point I would like to bring up about the USDA. When you fill out your form to obtain the seed, I recommend you list an Organization. If you put 'Wesserma Seeds' (or something like that) you won't ever get hassled. You also need to fill out the the section for intended use. Just say something using the words 'breeding' or 'research' and you are golden. Otherwise they will send you a one time only order. You'll get a letter saying it's a one time offer to gardeners. If you do it like I said, then you can get as many orders as you want. Of course, you only order one accession once, and not many times. You need to save the seed from the accessions you obtain. You can make multiple orders to get different accessions.

In my expert opinion, some of the tropical corn varieties are hard to save seed unless you jump through hoops. What I recommend you do; so you are not dependent on tropical corn pimps hustling their proprietary tallest corn, is to find your self some very large temperate varieties and cross it with your tropicals. Once you can get consistent ears on your plants, then you can do selecting for taller ones. R.H Shumway has one called Goliath Silage. The current Iowa State Fair champ used Goliath to get a 18'4" plant.

USDA also has some nice sized temperate corn

Local name: White Dent.
Native white dent with over 30 years of culture on the Sallee and Singer farm.

Ames 22133
Unverified name: Imperial White.
Grain: Medium size grain, white dent. Medium hard texture. Plants: Tall (about 15-17 feet) with high ears (some 8 to 9 feet). White open-pollinate maize variety called "Imperial White" Grown By Tom Lemoine near New Rhodes, Louisiana for over 50 years. The original seed was passed on to him from his father. Medium size grain, white dent. Tom Lemoine uses some ears for fresh roasting a "good eating corn". Collected late June 1994.

There are many intersting tropicals on USDA besides Jala
Local name: Olotillo blanco.
Qualifier: INSTANCE_001. - First miscellaneous observation made under this environment. Comment: J. Hanneman, Michigan, APR 1999. 6.94 meters (22.8 ft.).

Other or unclassified name: Trinidad 12.
Qualifier: INSTANCE_001. - First miscellaneous observation made under this environment. Comment: J. Hanneman, Michigan, APR 1999. 5.76 meters (18.9 ft.).

PI 478900 mays
one of tallest accessions in cimmyt database on singer
Other or unclassified name: San Luis Potosi 107.
Collected in: Mexico

besides corn, you can get some other large plants from the USDA


Zea nicaraguensis
Dense 1 ha stand, 3-5 meters tall, once ubiquitous, now very rare in region

Zea mays subsp. huehuetenangensis
*my notes* grows 5 meters in native environment. Someone in SE USA grew one to 18 ft.



Collected in: Arizona, United States
Sand dune dooryard garden. Plants to 5m tall, some multi-headed. Achenes striped. Introduced cultivar.

Collected in: Nebraska, United States
Seed collected from 28 plants. Population scattered along disturbed area of the roadside ditch, in channel. Plants extremely tall, some 4 to 5 m, branching equally up and down the stem, looking uniformly spaced. Heads as large as we have seen, but definately are still wild. Seed set good, some insect damage to head (Suleima) no apparent rust.

Pearl Millet

Plants flower 64 to 68 days after planting. Plants average 4.4 and 3.2 feet tall, planted June 13 and July 18, respectively. Seeds brownish-gray in color.

Strongly photoperiod sensitive, takes about 90 d to flower and 130 d to maturity for mid-June planting. Plant height about 3.3m, ear head length 31 to 37cm, candle shaped, globular light gray grain (9-11 g 1000 seed-1) with a vitreous endosperm.


Amaranthus australis
Local name: Giant Amaranth.
Collected in: Florida, United States
Large plants, up to 485 cm tall. Basal circumference 24 to 56 cm. The stems are hollow, with stem walls 1.5 cm thick, purple-red or green. If water level is high, roots grow out of the stem. Plants dioecious, still in flower at collection time. Low water level during germination is said to favor establishment. Frosts in October are said to kill the plants yearly.
Value: Tall growing
Sample size: 26. Comment: row 128 An individual plant grew to 453 cm (15 ft 1 inch) measured and was accepted as the Guinness World's Record Tallest Amaranth. This accession grows unusually tall, but other A. australis and A. cannabinus accessions are similar..
*IMAGE* http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/images/nc7/accvoucher/Amaranthus/PI_500000-PI_599999/PI_553076/i/PI_553076_89ncao51_SD_PL_FL_2005-08-15_01.jpg


Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench POACEAE
Institute identifier: IS 11331.
Collected in: Ethiopia (Comment: Collected Sept.-Nov., 1967)
Plant 3.0 m high. Head open, lax, rachis retracted, crookneck; glumes two-thirds of seed, light tan, awned; seed small, white.
GROWTH PLANTHGT 730.0 (*my note* ?? typo? )

Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench POACEAE
Institute identifier: IS 11458.
Collected in: Ethiopia (Comment: Collected Sept.-Nov., 1967)
Plants 18 m tall. Heads open, lax, 230 cm long. Glumes nearly cover seed, awned. Seed brown light brown. This collection represents the variation in the field.
PHENOLOGY FLOWERING photoperiod sensitive
my image (all tall plants left of me - not in bloom) http://www.gardenpics.com/photos/data/500/sorghum14ft_10_13_06.JPG

Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench POACEAE
Donor identifier: TGR 2015.
Collected in: Zimbabwe (Comment: Received through IBPGR)
Race Kafir/Guinea. Plants very tall.
PHENOLOGY FLOWERING photoperiod sensitive
PHENOLOGY PHOTOPER sensitive, few heads, no seed production
my image (one plant on right - in bloom) http://www.gardenpics.com/photos/data/500/sorghum14ft_10_13_06.JPG

Unverified name: Galang Oualema.
Collected in: Chad
Plants grow to 5 meters high, mature in 5.5 months; panicles very long; glumes open; seeds crosswise, white, flat, without brown hulls, hard.

Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench POACEAE
Unverified name: Mir N'da'.
Collected in: Chad
Plants grow to 5 meters high, mature in 5.5 months; panicles very long; glumes fully open; seeds crosswise, white, flat, without brown hulls, hard.

Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench POACEAE
Unverified name: Mir.
Collected in: Chad
Plants grow to 5 meters high, mature in 5 months; stalks slender; panicles long, lax; seeds transverse, red, starchy, with brown hulls.

Sorghum arundinaceum (Desv.) Stapf POACEAE
Institute identifier: IS 11010.
Collected in: Ethiopia (Comment: Seed collected Sept. - Nov., 1967)
Plants 9 m high.
PHENOLOGY PHOTOPER very insensitive, headed out, seed produced


There are many more than just this, but it should give you a good start.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 5:10AM
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No one is "pimping " the giant seed corn ! I make it available for $3 per pound plus shipping because the usda will not send it to Mass. It takes a full six months to maturity . So be fore warned .

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 11:26AM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)


It's not you that I was talking about. I've received seeds from you before. In fact, you've been very helpful to me. I appreciate you sending me seeds and letting me know what you sent me.
What I'm talking about certain individuals who go around just calling their corn "tallest corn" and not letting anyone know what race of corn it is in fear that someone else might get their own and not depend on them for the corn anymore. That is what I meant by a "corn pimp".

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:01PM
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