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Glass Gem

  • ZP103
  • Zea mays.  Glass Gem. Gorgeous translucent, jewel-colored ears, each one unique. A stunning variety selected over many years by Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer and breeder from Oklahoma. Selected from crossing several traditional corn varieties and saving seed from the vivid, translucent kernels. Gifted to NS/S by Bill McDorman who acquired the seed from Greg Schoen, one of Carl's students. To read the story behind this magnificent corn, check out this Native Seeds Blog post.  From our Seed Bank Collection.

    • The kernels may be ground into cornmeal or popped.
    • Size of ears range from 3-8 inches. 
    • Height of plants depend upon water, but can reach up to 9 feet, typically 6 feet. 
    • Glass Gem can be harvested approx. 110-120 days after planting when the husks are dry and brown for the most intense and translucent colors. 
    • Packet size 10g/approx. 50 seeds 
    • Seed Saver Size includes approx 50g/250 seeds plus information on corn pollination and seed saving. 
    • Limit 3 packets.

    All photos shown here are copyrighted by Greg Schoen and used with permission.


    Support the conservation of Glass Gem and other heirloom seeds by becoming an NS/S member. Become a Member/Renew

  • $3.95

Customer Reviews

Based on 92 reviews
Brittany Vega
Beautiful Corn!

I planted this later than I wanted to (late April) in my Glendale backyard. I wasn't sure if I would get a good harvest, but I have a whole basket of corn that is just stunning to look at! The plants did wonderfully during this hot desert summer and I'm looking forward to popping them and turning them into masa. First time growing corn and I'm hooked!

Stephen P.
Imperfect but my fault not the company's

They worked with me and my error in shipping to get thing to the right place. The best reviews are the ones where a company handles an error and how gracefully the do this.

Donna Craig
Waiting with anticipation

I ordered the glass gem seeds. I have several rows planted. All of the seeds I planted came up. I am very excited to watch their progress as they grow.


In growing seasons past family, friends, and I have planted glass gem corn in MD, MO, VA, MD and TN, and this is my first try in OR. So far the germination rate has been slower, but once started the plants are progressing. It will be a while for the great payoff from this unique seed. -- That's the joy of pulling back the shucks to see the beautiful surprises of each unique ear. Can't wait to see what this season brings. We've had the kids in our little community do the planting and tending, and hoping the payoff this fall will be incentive to continue as gardeners. Pretty certain there will be many oohs and aahs.

Jennifer Wagner
Amazingly beautiful

I tried some glass gem corn as a three sisters garden in my urban backyard. It was amazing. Every seed sprouted and stalks were about 10 feet tall with 2 ears per stalk. They are beautiful. I wish I could share a picture. The stalks were seriously twice as tall as I am.