Sehsapsing (Oklahoma Delaware Blue) Flint Corn
Sehsapsing or Oklahoma Delaware Blue Flint Corn are breathtaking 7-inch cobs containing 8 rows of blue-black kernels that can be ground for flour, grits, and a traditional cornmeal mush called sapan.
This corn is also known as Sèhsapsink, Lenape Blue Corn, and Oklahoma Delaware Black Flint and is an important variety to the Lenape people, whose original homeland covers what is now New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New York, and Northern Delaware.
William Woys Weaver received seeds of this variety in the 1970s from both Gladys Tantaquidgeon (Mohegan medicine woman and ethnographer) and Walton Galinat (a Connecticut Yankee who specialized in native corn). The USDA received seeds of this variety in 1985 from Charles Dean, the husband of Nora Thompson Dean, an Unami Delaware/Lenape herbalist who dedicated her life to preserving the culture and traditions of her tribe. This variety was brought west to Oklahoma by her mother, Sarah Wilson Thompson. Many Lenape people moved west over hundreds of years, continually pushed onward by white settlers.
If you are Lenape, please reach out so we can rematriate these seeds to you free of charge.
Days to maturity: 90
Seeds per pack: 60
Germination rate: 92% on 09/27/2022
Planting / harvesting notes
Corn requires warm soil to germinate. Wait a week or two after the last frost and sow seeds directly in the ground. Plant in rows 2-3' apart. For good pollination, it is better to plant at least 3-5 shorter rows next to each other rather than one or two long rows. Sow 1" deep and thin to every 6-12" within the row. Keep soil moist until germination. Consider planting successions every few weeks for continual harvest.
Seed keeping notes
Corn is wind pollinated and should be isolated by 2-3 miles from other varieties of corn to avoid unwanted cross-pollination. Another option is to separate your corn plantings by 3-4 weeks so they do not flower/tassel at the same time. Allow the cobs and kernels to dry on the plants before harvesting for seed. If you are concerned about neighbor's corn plots hybridizing yours, consider only harvesting seed from the plants towards the middle of your plot, leaving the outer rows for eating. If necessary, lay out the cobs to do some final drying before removing the husks and seeds.