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What do su, se, sh mean after sweet corn names?

There are three types of genes and sweet corn. It is the genes that cause corn to form sugar instead of starch in the kernels. The first sweet corns discovered are called normal, or sugary-1 types. These varieties are designated su-1 in catalogues. Their kernels have starch and sugar in them. The second type of sweet corn discovered has no starch in the kernels, only sugar. They are called supersweet, or shrunken 2 (sh-2) corns since the seeds a shriveled when dry. These are the sweetest corns. The third type is called sugary enhanced (se) corn. They have more sugar than su-1 types, but do have starch in the kernels.

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Close-up view of an ear of field corn encased in brown husk ready for harvest.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Sweet Corn, Corn September 7, 2018

Field corn is harvested after it has dried sufficiently, which means the husks are brown, not green like the husks of fresh sweet corn. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Peas and Beans, Sweet Corn, Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens August 6, 2001

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just as Good Friday signals the time to get the spring garden in the ground, August's heat is the indication that it's time to plant the fall garden.

Filed Under: Sweet Corn, Vegetable Gardens July 3, 2000

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

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