Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blue aleurone, red striped pericarp - crossing my Indian corn

Just one ear - but the idea seems to have taken hold!

I tried to cross up two distinct separations of my Indian corn this year, the red-striped variety that seemed so dominant last year with the blue/white kernel flour corn that produced a few stunning ears. I ended up with this, a blue aleurone layer with red striped pericarp. Not too bad - and definitely different than anything I have seen in my very short year or two looking at odd corns. I am proud of a tiny accomplishment, even one ear :) when it shows me the process is working.

I think there will be a total of about thirty kernels on this cob that show the cross - and the rest are regular white and red striped, perhaps holding some of the genes but not showing them. Since the blue aleurone is the trait passed by the father of the corn this collection of kernels and other blues will have to be planted as the 'tassellers' next year and plant either the red-striped or a selection of white kernels as the mother plants and detassel them. That is a lot of work, but it would produce interesting results.

I am hoping the 'test plot' of leftover seed will do something this year. I put out just about twenty seeds left from the parents of all of these corns - and they are up about two inches and looking like they are not having any mineral deficiencies. The drought took so much of the experiment in the first part of the year I could not help but plant another round just to see what happened.

The experiment in the west field - blue vs. black, is still going but with only half-hopes of producing anything. Some of those plants have already tasselled out at 3 feet tall - and others look like they could be healthy enough to maybe put on an ear. We've had a bit more rain now, so we'll see what happens there, too.

I have ordered Mandan Bride corn to grow next year - and Japonica Striped Maize as well. The Mandan has the food qualities I want in a corn for people and animals - and the Japonica was just too pretty, with pink, white, yellow and green striped leaves and deep purple ears lending on variegated. The Japonica is a 'popcorn' breed though, so it will need to be planted far away from the field corn.

separate your popcorn away from the field corn

You can see above what happens when popcorn genes interfere with the process. They are dominant for ear size, even over the mother plant. This mistake, and the drought - led to some sad things this year. But, it is a learning experience. That is why I'm doing this, to learn and create something new.

Note : today is the first day of vacation - go back to the work on the 30th.


mrspao said...

The colours are beautiful. How does it taste?

RheLynn said...

I'm not sure! It is dry corn and I didn't have enough live through the drought to test the taste in the milk stage. Hope for better luck next year!