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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 89 reviews

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.

Anna Walter
Not planting time in Montana yet

Still too early to play and see what grows

John Schmidt
Satisfied grower

Germination was great. Almost 100%. So far the seedlings are doing good.

Andrea Burke

have not planted yet. order came fast.thank you