We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Zea hybrids - Various

Common Name Perennial corn, Perennial Maize
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 8-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Cold temperate to tropical, tropical highland climates. Humidity: semi-arid to humid.
Range Hypothetical hybrid.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Zea hybrids Perennial corn, Perennial Maize

Zea hybrids Perennial corn, Perennial Maize


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Zea hybrids is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. The flowers are pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


See individual species/hybrids.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Pollen  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses: Oil

Carbon Farming Solutions - Staple Crop: balanced carb (The term staple crop typically refers to a food that is eaten routinely and accounts for a dominant part of people's diets in a particular region of the world) [1-1]. Maize/corn is one of the most important staple crops on the planet. The Land Institute has made substantial progress developing a perennial corn. Researchers believe it will be between 10 and 40 years before it is fully ready. Recently the US Department of Agriculture has shown interest [1-1].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The annual Zea mays has a number of medical properties so in theory hybrids could too.

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses


Perennial hybrids will carry some of the qualities of the original species. Zea mays for example has agroforestry uses being grown as a sole crop or in intercropping with other food crops such as common bean, cowpea, pigeon pea, groundnut, yam, cassava, sweet potato, pumpkin, melon or watermelon[299 ]. Maize grows well with early potatoes, legumes, dill, cucurbits and sunflowers[18 , 20 , 201 ], it dislikes growing with tomatoes[20 ]. Other Uses include a starch is obtained from the seed. It is used as a laundry starch and as a source material for many chemical products, including glues, cosmetics and the manufacture of glucose[13 , 61 , 299 ]. A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed[57 ]. It has many industrial uses, in the manufacture of linoleum, paints, varnishes, soaps etc[21 , 61 , 299 ]. The corn spathes are used in the production of paper, straw hats and small articles such as little baskets[74 , 171 ]. They are often used to wrap foods, and may also be made into cloth or mats, and be used for mattress filling[299 ]. A fibre obtained from the stems and seed husks is used for making paper[189 ]. They are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clear water for 24 hours. They are then cooked for 2 hours in soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours in a ball mill. The fibres make a light greenish cream paper[189 ]. Be careful not to overcook the fibre otherwise it will produce a sticky pulp that is very hard to form into paper[189 ]. The dried cobs are used as a fuel and for thatching[171 , 299 ]. The pith of the stems is used as a packing material[171 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Staple Crop: Balanced carb  Under Development

Climate: cold temperate to tropical, tropical highlands. Humidity: semi-arid to humid. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: under development. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Staple Crop: Balanced carb  (0-15 percent protein, 0-15 percent oil, with at least one over 5 percent). The carbohydrates are from either starch or sugar. Annuals include maize, wheat, rice, and potato. Perennials include chestnuts, carob, perennial fruits, nuts, cereals, pseudocereals, woody pods, and acorns.
  • Under Development  Plant breeders are actively working to domesticate these plants for cultivation, but they are not yet commercially available as crops. Examples include most of the perennial cereal grains.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Hypothetical crop

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Perennial corn, Perennial Maize, Zea hybrids

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

A hypothetical crop

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Corynocarpus laevigatusNew Zealand Laurel, Karaka nutTree12.0 7-10  LMHSNM204
Dacrydium cupressinumRimu, New zealand red pineTree30.0 8-11 SLMSM203
Hebe speciosaNew Zealand hebeShrub1.5 6-9  LMNM002
Kunzea muelleri Shrub0.9 -  LMHSNM11 
Kunzea pomifera Shrub0.0 -  LMHNM10 
Laurelia novae-zealandiaePukateaTree10.0 8-11  LMHSM012
Leptospermum scopariumTea Tree, Broom teatree, Manuka, New Zealand Tea TreeShrub5.0 8-11 MLMHNDM303
Pentadiplandra brazzeanaJoy perfume tree, j'oubliClimber12.0 10-12 FLMHNM442
Phormium tenaxNew Zealand Flax, Coastal Flax, New Zealand HempPerennial3.0 8-10 FLMHSNMWe203
Rubus kuntzeanus Shrub3.0 5-9  LMHSNM301
Solanum aviculareKangaroo Apple, New Zealand nightshadeShrub1.8 8-11  LMHNM222
Tetragonia tetragonioidesNew Zealand SpinachPerennial0.2 8-11 FLMNDM300
Zea maysSweet Corn, CornAnnual2.0 2-11 FLMHNM533

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment



Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Zea hybrids  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.