Zapalote Grande, a traditional breed from southern Mexico.

Here is yet another southern Mexican corn, though not as old as its relative, Zapalote Chico.

Z. Grande is native to Chiapas state and grows in wetter areas. I suspect that it is being pushed out both on the earlier and on the later sides by more specialized niche corns. As such, Z. Grande is becoming rather difficult to find in the current era. It is a general purpose corn where grown.

Z. Grande takes ~72 days to bloom and ~50 days to ripen its grain in Tennessee. Plants are 9 – 12 feet tall, mostly purple. Ears are short with low row number (10 – 16) and dented kernels. Husks are rather tight, numerous, and hard. Fairly disease-free here in Tennessee with the strongest resistance to Northern Leaf Blight that I’ve ever observed.

The seedstock was grown in 2021 and derived from 120 intermated plants.

A sample of the ears that constituted the seed stock.

Like Z. Chico, this is another variety that I wouldn’t recommend for use as is but for breeding material instead. The main value lies in its terrific resistance to Northern Leaf Blight, in 2020, 2021, and based on USDA-GRIN data.** If you live in a region where this blight is destructive, then Z. Grande is the most useful corn of mine that I can recommend.

sources cited:


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s