Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Popcorn
Zea mays 'Bear Paw'

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Zea (ZEE-uh) (Info)
Species: mays (maze) (Info)
Cultivar: Bear Paw

» View all varieties of Corn

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Days to Maturity:
81 to 90 days

Kernel Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral RiverNymph On Mar 26, 2013, RiverNymph from the Mountains, CO (Zone 4a) wrote:

Corn literally splits up into a 'paw' looking formation with multiple fingers coming out. Google for pictures.

The following is the history of this corn posted from Seed Savers Exchange: "A popcorn developed by Glenn Thompson of Vermont. Glenn grew and distributed ‘Bear Paw’ throughout New England from the 1930s until the mid-1960s. This popular variety was served in New England homes and movie theaters and was featured in the Vermont exhibit at the World’s Fair. When Glenn’s health declined and he was no longer able to keep up production, ‘Bear Paw’ became hard to find. His daughter Ginny has fond memories of the popcorn. She tells how her father hired local boys to help with the harvest; when work was done for the day, the boys were often invited in for cocoa and cupcakes. Ginny and her children remember sitting on Glenn’s lap while the corn was popping over a coal burning stove.

(Zea mays) Plants 4-5' tall; attractive purple coloring on husks and stems; pearly off-white kernels; 4-5" ears are often flattened and split at the silk end, giving them the appearance of a bear’s paw."

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