VERY LIMITED SUPPLY
Patrick Simcox and his fiance Daniela collected this treasured corn in the Urubamba district of the Sacred Valley of Peru. The locals call it “K’uyu Chuspi,” but Patty just calls it “The best darn corn in the world”! We at Baker Creek call it K'uyu Chuspi Dark due to it's deep colors. This most fascinating landrace corn is perhaps also one of the older known present day varieties from Peru. Corn very similar to this type likely evolved centuries ago off of tertiary corn races that developed from secondary races, (possibly at the hands of the Incans, off of the prehistoric races of the 4,000 – 6,000 year old Confite Morocho and Proto-Kculli). When Daniela and Patrick found this breath-takingly beautiful, bright purple, violet, white and grey speckled corn variety, they knew they had come across something very special.
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 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!
This may be the first AND the last time Baker Creek Seeds is privileged to offer K'uyu Chuspi Dark Corn. Our limited supply will be grabbed up quick by gardeners, seed collectors and seed artists.