Varieties of Seed Corn

As a diet staple for several cultures ranging from ancient to modern, corn comes in many varieties. This is because corn seeds need to have different characteristics in order to grow in different regions and climates. When choosing a corn seed to grow, keep in mind that it is also important whether you are growing it for human or cattle consumption.

Flour Corn

With a high starch content, flour corn thrives in arid regions and is a lesser known variety of corn. Centuries ago it was used by American Indians to create flour (it has a very soft consistency) so that is how it received its name.

Sweet Corn

This popular variety is well-known today and is sold in grocery stores all over the world. It has a juicy sweet flavor and is easy to grow. The seed has sharp edges and possesses a gene that prevents a specific amount the corn's sugar to turn into starch, thus making it have a sweet rich flavor. Grown as a summer crop, it is especially prevalent in southern areas of North America.

Dent Corn

Second to flour corn in starch content, this is one of the most common corn varieties sold in North America and was first cultivated by Southeastern Indians. It is used as food not only for humans, but for animals as well. The seed has smooth edges with a small dent in the crown of the seed, right on top. Out of all the grains, dent corn has the highest content of vitamin A.

Waxy Corn

This name is not well-known in the United States, and that is because it was first cultivated in China. This corn variety has a certain type of starch that provides it with a waxy appearance. In North America, it is mixed with dent corn variety strains and is mostly used for making a starch that is similar to tapioca. This variety is difficult to grow and requires a lot of maintenance and materials.

Keywords: corn varieties, types of corn, seed corn types

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Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.