Indian Corn - Edible or Not - Knowledgebase Question

Greencastle, PA
Question by gmdoub
July 20, 1999
I planted some of your ornamental corn, rainbow. Is it edible and if so when do I harvest it? I realize it will not be as sweet as regular sweet corn, but can you eat it?


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Answer from NGA
July 20, 1999

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Ornamental corn is a type of Zea mays the same as sweet corn so I suppose it would be edible (depending how strong your jaws are and your tolerance level) but in terms of yield per square foot of garden space other varieties make for better eating. For edible colored corn, there are numerous varieties grown specifically for the traditional use as flour corn. These are not very palatable cooked like sweet corn, either, because they are tough like field corn. If you want to experiment, watch for it to reach the same milk stage as you would with sweet corn.

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