Glass Gem


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 7g/approx. 50 seeds 

  • Seed Saver Size includes approx 35g/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.


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  • $3.25

Customer Reviews

Based on 51 reviews
Darlene Ducker
Native seeds

Prompt shipping. god germination on all seeds I have purchased

Steve Hashiguchi
Disappointing seeds, good results.

I wish I could upload photos. You'd see the pathetic, pale, dull, runt seeds I received, none of the rich, brilliant colors like the ad photos and none of the clear, glassiness either. Many kernels looked too small and misformed to germinate. Either I got the bottom of the barrel or I got ripped off.

However, if I could upload photos you would also see a series of beautiful and varied ears. All the ears were beautifully multi-colored but each corn stalk had a overall trend in color and darkness. One stalk produced very dark ears with a black/blue hue. Another was dark with a green hue. Another produced light ears with pastel colors. Others were reddish or pink or green/gold. I didn't get any of the brilliant, glassy reds or greens or blues as you can see in the ad photos, therefore four stars, but the results were still beautiful. I look forward to trying my hand at crossing my seeds. Maybe I'll get corn that looks like the ad photos.

Emily Gray
More beautiful than you can imagine

I grew these for cooking, but they are as pretty as pictured. In fact, I'd say some of my ears were way prettier than any I see in the pictures. I will have to save a few for decor. It is also an immense honor to carry on the legacy of glass gem corn. I will grow this every year from now on, I imagine.

Melinda L McLane
Glass Gem

Can't wait to try these next spring. My mother always said to plant corn with 3 seeds to each hill - One for the Mother Earth, one for man, and one for the Great Spirit.

John Chambers

Why should I do your bidding? I gave this seed to a farmer friend who grows lots of corn, and he will eventually let me know the results, probably next year. In the meanwhile, leave me be.