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Corn, Sweet corn, Zea mays / Gramineae
There are around 300 known varieties of sweet maize; they are classified in old varieties or varieties of direct pollination and hybrid varieties, according to the culture conditions required by the plant.

Varieties of direct pollination: They are the old varieties of free pollination and high yield. "Goldem Bantam" is probably the only one cultivated at present.

Hybrid varieties F1: Its culture is not restricted to areas of mild climate. There are types of early maturation, half-season and late varieties. Some of them are Candle, Sundance, Goldprinz, Tasty Gold, Tasty Sweet, Merit, Golden Queen, Jubileo original, Dominador, Golden Earlipark, John innes hybrid, Early xtra sweet, First of all, Earliking, Early arctic, Northstar, Polar Vee, Kandy kob, Snow cross, Tokay sugar, Kelvedon sweetheart and Kelvedon Glory among others.

The hybrid varieties of sweet maize can be classified, according to their earliness and the colour of the kernels, in:

Very early varieties: in good culture conditions, they cover the development cycle in less than 75 days.

White grain: Marcross.
Yellow grain: Butterfingers, Goldcrest, Aztec, Comanche and Early King.

Precocious varieties: Their cycle is completed in 75 to 85 days.

White grain: Comet, Snowbelle and White Knight.
Yellow grain: Golden cross Bantam, Apache, Cherokee, Merit, Midway, Salute, Bonanza, Calico, Guardian, Candy Bar, Bonanza and Arrestor.

Semi-precocious varieties: Their cycle finishes in more than 85 days.

White grain: Stowell"s Evergreen hybrid.
Yellow grain: Iobelle, Valley, Iochief, etc.

Besides, sweeter and tender varieties are gradually obtained, identifying some genes that are inserted in the plant material in the genetic improvement programs. Therefore, another classification is established according to the genotypic characteristics, that is to say, according to the sweetness degree of maize:

Normal sweetened type (it has a gene that slows down the conversion of sugar to starch).
Extra-sweet type (it contains two times the sucrose of the normal types). Some cultivars are Skyhner 95, Super Sweet, Honey Bar, Signal, Lumidor, Sweet Belle, Pinnacle, Citation, Sugary Enhanced, Suzette, Paramount, Jamboree, etc.

Sweet gene hybrids (75% of the sucrose contained in the extra-sweet type). They are obtained from the cross of the previous types.

Intensified sweet hybrids. There are two subtypes: one of them with greater amount of total sugar and greater proportion of maltose and the other with some characteristics resembling the sweet gene hybrids.

Other varieties of maize are the bicolour and the baby maize, being the latter very popular in the Chinese and Thai cooking.

Description of the sweet maize varieties:

"Candle’
It is a very sweet variety having long cobs and plants of average height.

"Baby maize"
Small cobs that, due to their early harvesting, they hardly exceed 10cm of length. The grains are white and in the European markets they are mainly marketed in preserve. They lack vitamin A.

"Earliking"
Large cobs and average-sized plant. It is an early variety of sweet flavour.

"Early xtra sweet"
It is a late variety, more than "Jonh Innes hybrid", "First of all", "Earling", etc., but very popular because the grains have, at least, twice the sugar content of the standard varieties. They are large cobs.

"First of all"
It is one of the earliest varieties, highly recommended for table and for rigorous climate areas. Medium-sized cobs, 15cm long.

"Golden Bantam"
Old variety, somewhat early, sweet and robust.

"Jonh innes hybrid"
Widely cultivated, early variety, reliable and vigorous. Medium size cobs.

"Kelvedon glory"
Rich yield and extremely swollen cobs, 18 to 20cm long. The grains are of a pale yellow colour and good taste. It is of middle season.

"Kandy kob"
Early variety with high sugar content.

"Northstar"
Large cobs. It is recommended for regions with damp and cold summers.

"Sundance’
It is one of the best early or middle season cultures, appropriate for colder climate and shorter summers.

"Tokay sugar"
Sweet and early variety. The grains are of white colour.
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