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ZEA mays 'Strawberry'

Image of Zea mays 'Strawberry'

James H. Schutte

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

ZEA mays 'Strawberry'

Plant Common Name

Ornamental Corn, Strawberry Ornamental Corn

General Description

A popping and ornamental corn in one, 'Strawberry' produces stubby, cone-shaped ears with showy deep-red kernels. Plants grow from seed to harvest in about 105 days. Allow the ripe ears to dry on the stalk, or dry them indoors in a warm well-ventilated location.

Corn is a warm-season annual garden vegetable. The tall grassy plants germinate and grow rapidly in warm soil and summery weather. They develop tall stalks with long, broad, arching green blades. Corn plants bear male, pollen-producing flowers in terminal tassels, and female, kernel-forming flowers in axillary "ears." Pollination occurs when airborne pollen lands on the silky threadlike stigmas of the ears.

"Hard" corns (such as popcorn and ornamental corn) come in a rainbow of colors, including blue, orange, red and near black. Isolate garden plantings of "hard" corn varieties (such as 'Strawberry') from those of sweet corn to prevent the different types from cross-pollinating.

Grow corn in full hot sun and fertile, nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. It grows best with regular watering. Plant several rows of 'Strawberry' for optimal pollination and a good harvest.

A number of diseases and pests plague corn. Corn earworms are common as are nighttime raids from raccoons. The grotesque fungal disease called corn smut is another problem to watch for.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 5

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Width

    18"-30" / 45.7cm - 76.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, North America, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Fruit Color

    Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower/Everlasting, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes