Mexican Teosinte (Mexicana)

The Mexican Teosinte (Mexicana) is generally described as an annual graminoid. This is not native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

This species is used for wildlife, such as quail, dove, and turkey, food and habitat. It is also suitable for silage or green chop feed.

Required Growing Conditions

Grass Family (Poaceae). Mexican teosinte is an annual, warm-season grass introduced from Mexico. It is similar to corn in general vegetative appearance and stands 10 to 15 feet in height. It is coarse, branches at the base, and the leaf blades are sword-shaped to 3 ¼ inches wide and 13 to 48 inches long. Clusters of slender “ears” (seed pods) are produced in each of the 5 to 7 uppermost leaf axils. Each ear normally contains 3 to 8 very firm glossy seeds with a marking resembling an insect pupa on the face.

It is adapted to fertile soils ranging from somewhat poorly to well drained. It can grow wherever corn is grown. Approximately 165 to 170 frost free days are required from seeding to maturity.

Cultivation and Care

The area to be planted should be plowed and thoroughly disked. The time for planting in Florida is early June. If irrigation is available and greater forage yield is desired, planting can be done in early April, weather permitting. Fertilizer requirements are similar to that for most grain crops. An application of N, P, and K should be based upon a soil test. For row planting, the width of the rows should be approximately the same as used for corn, placing the seed 1 to 2 inches deep. Use 8 to 10 pounds of seed per acre. For broadcast seeding, use 10 to 12 pounds per acre followed by shallow disking for seed coverage. Shattered seed will voluntarily germinate the following year. To encourage this production, till the soil by moderate to thorough disking in early march prior to germination.

General Upkeep and Control

Increased stems may be obtained by cutting when the plant attains a height of 3 to 4 feet. Additional or late cuttings will decrease seed production.

Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) Contact your NRCS Service Center office for sources of this material.

Plant Basics
General Type Graminoid
Growth Duration Annual
Plant Nativity Introduced to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA