VERY LIMITED SUPPLY
When the Botanical Explorers found this beautiful, speckled, bright purple, violet and white corn, they knew it was special. They kept hearing the locals repeat a name in the Quechua language for this corn that they later figured out was purple, speckled “chuspi.” We have identified this variety as K'uyu Chuspi, being lighter, and brighter than the similar K'uyu Chuspi Dark.
In the Southern Peruvians highlands there are several different types of “chuspi corn.” They are always speckled, flecked or streaked in tones of purple, red, cream, grey, light-violet, bluish, yellow or even pink! The kernels are big and long and have a very tender-textured endosperm that is sweet with premium flavor. It is most commonly toasted here in Peru and eaten as a snack but also ground up for flour. Because of its color, both outside and inside being purple, it is often ground up and used to make desserts like mazamorra morada--purple corn pudding--or Chicha morada, a popular, sweet, natural-colored black or purple corn drink. It forms very decorative corncobs that are shorter, bigger, fatter and rounder than normal. Patrick says “this one is a real winner!”
These Peruvian corns are daylight sensitive, being from the Andean region of Southern Peru (the length of the days are shorter) and are grown at high altitudes (2,300 to 3,300 meters above see level) and this variety needs from 180 to 210 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!
Our limited supply will be grabbed up quick by gardeners, seed collectors and seed artists. This may be the first AND the last time Baker Creek Seeds is privileged to offer K'uyu Chuspi Corn.