VERY LIMITED SUPPLY
Chuspi Puka Purple corn is known across the Peruvian Highlands as “Chuspi Puka Llanqha” in the ancient Quechua language. Although hard to pronouce, this extremely rare and difficult to obtain landrace is highly prized by the locals. It is cherished as Cancha in Peru for its excellent flavor and toasting qualities. It has a very tender textured endosperm and is sweet; the kernels are also quite large in comparison to corns of the USA. It is commonly ground into flour and used for bread, tortillas, tortas, arepas and desserts.
Brought to Baker Creek by Joseph and Patrick Simcox, it is absolutely one of the most gorgeous varieties, with its purple, hot-fuchsia, pink, raspberry, blue and grey speckled grains. This corn was said to have come from Culcabamba in Southern Peru. In the highlands there are several different types of corn known as “chuspi.” They are usually speckled in tones of purple, red, cream, grey, light-violet, bluish, yellow or even pink! Chuspi varieties generally have a very tender textured endosperm and are sweet; the kernels are also quite large. It forms awesome decorative corncobs that are shorter, fatter and rounder than usual. ”This is one of my overall favorites,” says Patrick Simcox and we agree!
The Peruvian corns are daylight sensitive, being from the Andean region of Southern Peru (the length of the days are shorter) and is grown at high altitudes (2,300 to 3,300 meters above see level) and this variety needs from 165 to 195 days to reach maturity. When growing this variety, please remember that these Peruvian “Kings of the Corn World” are adapted to cool subtropical conditions year round and won’t take well to extreme heat or freezing cold spells.
Because this corn is day-length sensitive, the long day length in much of the USA could pose the biggest challenge for growers. The Peruvian types usually won’t tassel until the sunlight is down to 12 hours per day, which normally occurs in the northern hemisphere around the 21st of September. If you are successful at getting it to tassel, be ready to assist with pollination. Artificial shading might be a temporary solution until we are able to acclimatize them to northern latitudes. However, there has been some success with Peruvian corn in the Pacific Northwest, as well as other coastal, cooler or higher altitude areas. Hawaii could also prove to be a suitable climate for this variety. Growing the corn in large climate-controlled greenhouses may also prove successful. Please SAVE and SHARE your seeds as well as you gardening techniques if you are successful at getting a crop!
We believe this is the first time ever that Chuspi Puka Purple corn has been offered commercially, thanks to The Botanical Explorers, Joseph and Patrick Simcox, and Jere Gettle of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds! This is a got-to-have variety for the corn enthusiast! We have a very limited supply to spread among gardeners, seed collectors, and seed artists. We wish there was more!