Indian Corn

Indian CornQuestion: My grandson asked me this question the other day, and I was stumped—Does “Indian corn” grow with multicolored kernals, or are they dyed to look that way?

Answer: They grow that way. Colorful “Indian corn” is a type of flint corn, or Zea mays indurata, a very hard-kernalled corn that is typically used for grinding into meal that can be made into tortillas, or used as a popping corn.

A corn cob holds hundreds of seeds, or kernals, that each possess their own genetic makeup. Naturally they can be any of a range of colors, depending on their genes. Single-color corn varieties are “manmade”—they were bred that way by selective cross-pollination.

You can find more information plus a great range of varieties for purchase at Victory Seeds.
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  1. Think about how difficult it would be to hand-dye an ear of corn (if that were possible). No quick dip would do. Then consider the low cost, and you’d realize they’d have to be fairly expensive if they were hand-made. So just the low cost tells you they’re done by Mother Nature.

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