When people think of corn, they usually don’t think of a thing of incredible beauty. That will certainly change the first time you see glass gem corn which really does look like a cob full of precious gems rather than something that grows on a cob.
Glass gem corn was a long-lost variety that may never have been discovered except for some fortuitous happenings. A seedsman named Greg Schoen was able to obtain some of the glass gem corn seeds from his part Cherokee “corn teacher” Carl Barnes. Carl is in his mid 80’s from Oklahoma and may have been the only person who still had seeds from this corn variety. It wasn’t Greg, however, that introduced this variety of corn to the world.
Instead, in 2010 Greg decided to move. While moving, he made the determination that he needed to find someone to store and protect his seed collection so that it didn’t get lost or ruined in the moving process. Greg decided to store several different samples of corn seed with Seeds Trust, a 25-year-old family owned seed company, including the glass gem corn seeds.
In 2011, Bill McDormann, president of Seeds Trust decided to grow the corn varieties that Greg had left with them. When he saw the result of the glass gem seed corn, he was absolutely amazed and posted photos of the corn on the Internet. Bill hadn’t known how beautiful the corn would be and thus did not grow out enough of the glass gem corn to sell.
Photos of the beautiful ears eventually spread across the Internet and in May 2012 went viral with a post on the social networking site Reddit which was then picked-up by dozens of other social media outlets. There was instant clamoring of where seeds for glass gem corn could be purchased.
Currently, there is no place to purchase glass gem corn seeds as the few people who do have the seeds haven’t grown enough to obtain a stock of seeds to sell. This will surely change in the near future as those who do have the seeds will be growing more. Hopefully glass gem corn seeds will be plentiful enough for anyone who wants them to purchase them within the next few years.
We will definitely keep you up to date as to when and where these seeds are available for purchase. Until you are able to grow this corn on your own, here are some more beautiful glass gem corn photos for you to feast your eyes on!