A sweet heirloom corn variety with exceptional flavor.
Introduced in 1864, 'Black Mexican' is a time-honored New England sweet corn. Despite its name, it appears to have originated in upper New York state, and was probably derived from 'Iroquois Black Puckers' sweet corn. 'Black Mexican' arose from a northern black flint corn by mutation from the starchy to sugary condition (perhaps causing the kernels to have a puckered appearance, hence the name 'black puckers'). The kernels, white at milk stage, soon change to bluish-black in the late milk stage, but the flavor is exceptional. Although adapted to New England it does well as a second early variety in the south.Poaceae Zea mays
There are relatively few open pollinated heirloom sweet corn varieties still available and they have pretty much disappeared from commercial growing because the newer hybrids stay sweet for much longer. However, some cooks maintain that sweetness isn't the only thing that makes for a great sweet corn and that the old open pollinated heirloom varieties have a superior flavor. If you grow them you just have to be more aware of their ripening, as they ripen all at once and don't maintain their sweetness for very long.
- Ease of Growing
- Grown as
- Days to Maturity
- 73-79 (Spring/Summer)
- Growing Habit
Corn is a tropical grass and needs warm weather. It is not at all hardy.
- Spring Transplant, Spring, Summer
- Growing Season
- Cultivar Type
- Growing Conditions
- Warm, Hot
Corn is a sub-tropical plant and uses C4 photosynthesis, which enables it to grow more efficiently in high heat and light levels. It needs warm weather and as much sunlight as it can get.
Sweet Corn can be grown in an intensive bed, but it must be in a large block for best pollination. There must be at least a group of 12 plants to insure good pollination.
It is a tall growing plant, so must be planted where it won't shade other plants.
- Outdoor Growing Temp
- 50°F - 95°F
- Min Outdoor Soil Temp
Corn needs a warm soil for good germination. It will take 3 weeks to germinate at 50 degrees, but only 4 days at 80 degrees.
- Start Indoors
- Start Outdoors
- Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Warm, Hot)
Corn uses an especially efficient form of photosynthesis that enables it to grow rapidly in the high intensity light and heat of the tropics. It should be placed in the sunniest spot in the garden.
The best way to irrigate is with a soaker hose or a drip system. Don't use sprinklers during the pollen shedding stage, as it may affect pollination.
Corn is a notoriously hungry plant, which isn't surprising when you consider how fast it can grow. For best growth it needs generous amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as well as all of the other plant nutrients.
- High heat, Needs lots of space
- Small Gardens?
- Yes, but will need a large one, like a half wine barrel
It is possible to grow corn in a large container of fertile soil, but it's probably not worthwhile. Be aware that you won't get much for the space it takes up, and you will have to hand pollinate such a small number of plants.
- Attracts beneficial insects?
- Fruit Size
- Plant Height
- Plant Diameter
- Hardiness Zone
- Disease Resistance
- Taste Profile