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The Glass Gem Corn: A Rediscovered Species?

These photos of the glass gem corn have been making a lot of noise lately, and I really wanted to share this amazing plant with you. Just to let you know off the bat - this is real, not a hoax, not photoshopped. This is a type of corn called the glass gem corn. 

The story of this fascinating species of corn starts with a man called Carl Barnes.

 
 
glass gem corn

Carl is a half-Cherokee, half Scottish-Irish farmer who lives in Oklahoma. Carl had an amazing sense for making bread out of corn, and excelled in selecting and saving seeds from cobs that displayed interesting colors.

glass gem corn

Late in life, in his 80s, Carl met another plant enthusiast named Greg Schoen. The two shared a deep love for corn and Carl entrusted Schoen with his priceless seed collection, giving him not only this treasure but also the responsibility that comes with it - to continue his work.

 
 
glass gem corn 

In 2005, he partnered with another man and together they grew what is now known as the Glass Gem Corn, which comes in a myriad of lovely colors. 

glass gem corn

The corn produces a variety of jewel-like ears, each one with unique patterns of colors. This is a type of flint corn, so that the kernels can be ground and made into cornmeal or it can be popped and be made into popcorn (the popcorn itself, unfortunately, is plain white), but it cannot be eaten straight off the cob. 

glass gem corn

Schoen has been giving seeds away to anyone who is interested in growing the unique corn, and many have taken him up on it, so I'm pretty sure that you might be able to get your own glass gem corn some day soon!

glass gem corn
 
glass gem corn
 
glass gem corn
 
glass gem corn
 
glass gem corn
 

Submitted by user: Margaret O.

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