Corn or maize

Title Info
Common name Corn or maize
Scientific name Zea mays
Taxonomic group Poaceae
Source Dan L. Perlman
Economic botany Food plants; Industrial products
Food plants Grains and cereals
Keywords Gramineae
Date 1997
Location Amherst,Massachusetts,USA,North America
Corn or maize, <i>Zea mays</i>, developing cob
Related materials: Corn

Corn or maize. In this developing ear of corn, the brown silk represents the remainders of the pistillate (female) flowers. This New World crop was first domesticated in Mexico; the earliest varieties date from about 7,500 years before the present. This species plays an important role as livestock feed and as a source of food for humans (eaten fresh, canned, as tortillas and snacks, popped, and as corn oil). Ethanol created from maize is mixed with gasoline and used as automobile fuel in parts of the USA. Nearly half of the world's maize is grown in the USA in the "Corn Belt"--most of which was covered by tall-grass prairie and very deep, rich soils just 150 years ago.