The effects of seedtime and maturity stage on nutritive value of five maize stover varieties, including conventional maize (Kexiangyu 11, CM), fodder maize (Huqing 1, FM), high oil maize (Gaoyou 115, HOM), sweet maize (Kexiangtianyu 1, SM) and waxy maize (Kexiangluoyu 1, WM), were examined based on chemical composition, in vitro gas production and in situ incubation techniques. Maize stover was sampled at d 17 and d 30 after tasseling, and designated as maturity stage 1 and stage 2, respectively. The average dry matter (DM) organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP) and fiber contents were the greatest for HOM, SM and FM, respectively. CM had the highest in vitro organic matter disappearance (IVOMD) and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration. The highest ammonia nitrogen (
-N) concentration in the incubation solution, and effective degradability of DM (
) and neutral detergent fiber (
) were observed in SM. Advanced maturity stage increased (p<0.05) DM content,
, but decreased (p<0.05) OM and CP contents, and decreased (p<0.05) b and a+b values, IVOMD and molar proportion of valerate in the incubation solution for maize stover. Maize sown in summer had greater (p<0.05) OM content, but lower DM, CP, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) content compared with maize sown in spring. Maize sown in summer had greater (p<0.001) IVOMD,
-N concentration in the incubation solution and
, but lower (p<0.01) ratio of acetate to propionate compared to maize sown in spring. The interaction effect of variety
seedtime was observed running through almost all chemical composition, in vitro gas production parameters and in situ DM and NDF degradability. The overall results suggested that SM had the highest nutrient quality, and also indicated the possibility of selecting maize variety and seedtime for the utilization of maize stover in ruminants.