The American Farmer 14(25): 193 (Aug 31, 1832)
ed. Gideon B. Smith 

INDIAN CORN—SINGULAR FACT.

In the course of some experiments made by the Editor of the American Farmer, for the purpose of improving Indian corn last year, he impregnated the pistils (silk,) of the large white Tuskarora with the pollen from the tassels of the golden sioux. The result was a perfect hybrid between the two. The grain being of a pure brimstone color, of the size and form of the Tuskarora, and like that with eight rows on the cob. It was a most beautiful variety of corn; partaking of all the good qualities of both, without the disadvantage of the large cob and small grain of the golden sioux. We planted this corn last spring; the stalks were very dwarfish, resembling those of the sioux, and the corn very early fit for use. It is now ripe, however, and on examining it a day or two since we find that the two original colors have separated, and instead of the brimstone color, we have on every ear grains of the bright yellow sioux, and the pure white Tuskarora; but the quality of the corn is evidently superior to either of the original parents, although the colors have resumed their original tints. This is, to us, a singular circumstance, and one which we are unable to account for. The only thing analogous to it we have read of, is the proposition advanced by an able writer some time since in the columns of the Farmer, that the offsprings of cross breeds of animals, would instead of partaking of the mixt character of their immediate parents, assume that of one or the other of their original progenitors. How far this proposition may hold good with animals we do not know, but it certainly appears to be the case in the vegetable world, at least so far as the fact above stated warrants the formation of an opinion.

There is a good deal of difficulty in reconciling the above fact with the law of nature, which requires two parents for the production of every organized being, animal or vegetable. If the two kinds of corn which were combined in the hybrid have become again distinct varieties, they are each of them the produce of but one parent—the Tuskarora is the produce of a female parent exclusively, and the sioux that of a male parent; for it must be recollected there was no male Tuskarora nor female sioux present, either during the origin of the hybrid, last year, or the subsequent culture and separation of varieties this year. Yet we know, that if we deprive the corn of either the male or female flowers, (tassel or silk,) there will be no corn formed on the cob. How then are we to account for the present fact of the separation of the two varieties? It was this difficulty that made us doubt the correctness of the proposition relative to crosses of animals above referred to, and although we have the fact before us in the case of the corn, we are still compelled to doubt its general application. We do not think that each variety has resumed all its original characters; one of them we know it has not—the size of the sioux grain is larger than the original, and there are but eight rows on the cob; in these respects retaining the hybrid character derived from the Tuskarora; but then the original color and flintiness of the grain is resumed; the Tuskarora has resumed its original character entirely, with the exception of the soft flowery quality of the grain,—the flintiness of the hybrid derived from the sioux parent is retained. As the Tuskarora was the female parent of the hybrid, the number of rows and the size of the grain would of course be like those of that variety, and hence the presence of those characters in the present separated varieties. We should be glad to receive an explanation of this circumstance from some of our practiced naturalists.


The American Farmer 2(18): 142 (July 28, 1820)

The Golden Sioux corn you say is fit for use in 69 days, and dead ripe in 90 days.†

†So stated by the seller of the corn in New York.

William Prince 1820