Corn, Japanese Black Sticky

88% of 100

Japanese black sticky corn is a delectable sweet, waxy textured corn used to make mochi or eaten fresh as a sweet treat in Japan. The “sticky” quality of this corn is thanks to a natural mutation. This inky black variety can be harvested immature, when the kernels start to turn light purple. The ears are best steamed or grilled for a subtly sweet flavor. Across Asia you will find roadside vendors tending baskets brimming with steamed sticky corn. Plants produce tall vigorous stalks up to 6.5 feet, averaging one to two ears 7-9 inches long with 12 to 15 rows of beautiful, glossy black kernels at full maturity.

The origin and history of sticky corn are steeped in mystery and ensnared in historical debate. This Japanese strain was originally selected from seeds brought from China around the year 1800. It is widely believed that corn was introduced to China from its native range in the Americas by Portuguese traders in the 1520s. But some historians suggest that the unusually early presence of sticky corn in China means that the crop had taken root there nearly 100 years before Columbus. These researchers believe that Chinese traders acquired corn on an expedition to Peru in the early 1400s. Ears of corn also appear to be depicted on ancient temples in India, leading some world experts to believe that Asia had discovered the Americas, long before dark-age Europe had. It has been widely debated, however, as it challenges centuries of Eurocentric historical record.

  • Full Sun
  • Sprouts in 7-10 Days
  • Seed Depth: 1-2"
  • Ideal Temperature: 75-80 F
  • Plant Spacing: 12"
  • Plant Height: 6.5'
  • Frost Hardy: No
  • Zea mays

Growing Tips: Direct sow into the richest soil available 1-2 weeks before last spring frost. Succession planting prolongs harvest. Planting in blocks improves pollination.

Availability: In stock
Minimum Seed Count: 50
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