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Corn

Zea mays L.

Brief Summary

    Maize: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Maize (/meɪz/ MAYZ; Zea mays subsp. mays, from Spanish: maíz after Taino: mahiz), also known as corn, is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits.

    Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat or rice. However, little of this maize is consumed directly by humans: most is used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn syrup.[citation needed] The six major types of maize are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn.

    Sweet corn: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia
     src= Loose kernels of sweet corn

    Sweet corn (Zea mays convar. saccharata var. rugosa; also called sweetcorn, sugar corn and pole corn) is a cereal with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the ENO of the corn kernel. Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and mature (dent stage), sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. Since the process of maturation involves converting sugar to starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen, before the kernels become tough and starchy.

    It is one of the six major types of corn, the others being dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, and flour corn.

    Brief Summary
    provided by EOL authors
    Zea mays, corn or maize, is a annual grass in the Poaceae (grass family) that originated in Central America and is one of the top three cereal crops grown in the world, along with rice (Oryza sativa) and wheat (Triticum spp.), with 2010 global commercial production of dried corn totaling 844.4 million metric tons, harvested from 161.9 million hectares. Corn was domesticated in Mexico and Central America more than 7,000 years ago from teosinthe or wild maize (Z. mays subsp. mexicana). The corn plant may grow 1–4 m (3 to 13 ft) tall, with leaf blades 50 to 90 cm (19 to 35 in) long. The monoecious plant forms a terminal raceme (branched inflorescence) of male flowers—the tassel”--,while the axillary female inflorescences form cylindrical "cobs," each with 16–30 rows of spikelets (which develop into “kernels” when the seeds mature) and long protruding styles (the corn silks). Mature kernels are typically white or yellow, but may also range in color from red to purple. Corn is used fresh (“green”) for human consumption, or may be dried and ground into flour or meal, important in Central American dishes, or popped and eaten as a snack. Corn oil, obtained from the grain, is used in cooking as well as many industrial uses, and cornstarch from processed grain is used as a thickener in sauces and puddings. Cornstarch can be further processed enzymatically to make high-fructose corn syrup, which has become widely used to replace sugar (sucrose) as an inexpensive sweetener in processed food and beverage products. In recent years, this use has become controversial, with critics charging that the sweetener is linked to obesity, but the American Medical Association has reported that additional research is needed to assess these claims. In addition to use as a human food, the seed head and whole plant are used forage and silage, an important source of feed for livestock. Corn has become an increasingly important biofuel, both in the form of corn oil (used as bio-diesel) and ethanol (an alcohol fermented and distilled from the processed kernels), which is blended with petroleum-based gasoline in various proportions for use as fuel. With Although grown in temperate and tropical countries worldwide, the U.S. alone produces more than one third of the global total of dried corn (316.2 metric tons), with China, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina also producing significant amounts. Corn production increased by 42% worldwide over the past decade, associated with the increased demand and prices for corn as biofuel. (AMA 2008, FAOSTAT 2012, Flora of China 2012, van Wyk 2005, Wikipedia 2012.)

Comprehensive Description

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    America, widely cultivated in all warm countries.
    Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    A native of America but now cultivated in all warm countries throughout the world.
    Distribution in Egypt
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Nile Valley North of Nubia, Nubia. 

    Global Distribution
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Originally from central America, now cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics, also grown for fodder in temperate regions.

Morphology

    Comments
    provided by eFloras
    Maize (corn) is a very important food for livestock as well as for man. The grain is ground into flour or cooked without grinding; small green corn (unripe cobs) forms a favorite vegetable; the dry cobs are used as fuel and the spathes are used for making paper.
    Comments
    provided by eFloras
    This plant (maize, corn) was first domesticated in Central America about 7000 years ago and is now the third most important crop in the world. The many cultivars are grown for cereal or forage, and it is also an important source of oil, syrup, and alcohol.
    Description
    provided by eFloras
    Annual; culm solid. Spikelets unisexual. Staminate spikelets in pairs, about 9 mm long; lower glume lanceolate, pubescent, keeled, long-ciliate, margin thinner, 9-11-nerved, as Iong as the spikelet; upper glume oblong-lanceolate, 7- nerved, nearly as long as the lower; lower lemma minutely hairy on the back and margins, 3-nerved, about 8 mm long; palea as long as the lemma; upper lemma smaller than the lower palea, cleft usually to the base; anthers 3, about 6 mm long. Pistillate inflorescence axillary, the spikelets in many rows on a thickened, almost woody axis, enclosed by numerous large foliaceous bracts or spathes, the tyles extremely long, like silky threads. Caryopsis greatly exceeding the glumes at maturity.
    Description
    provided by eFloras
    Culms erect, 1–4 m tall. Leaf sheaths with transverse veinlets; leaf blades 50–90 × 3–12 cm, glabrous or with tubercle-based hairs, margins scabrid, midvein stout; ligule ca. 2 mm. Female inflorescence a cylindrical "cob," with 16–30 rows of spikelets; glumes equal, veinless, margins ciliate; florets hyaline. Male inflorescence a "tassel" of many digitate racemes; spikelets 9–14 mm, unequally pedicellate, one pedicel 1–2 mm, the other 2–4 mm; glumes subequal, membranous, lower ca. 10-veined, margins ciliate, upper 7-veined; lower lemma and palea hyaline, subequal; upper lemma smaller than lower. Anthers orange, ca. 5 mm. Fl. and fr. summer–autumn. 2n = 20, 40, 80.
    Elevation Range
    provided by eFloras
    ? m
    Physical Description
    provided by USDA PLANTS text
    Annuals, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Prop roots present, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems solitary, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes solid or spongy, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems with inflorescence 1-2 m tall, Stems with inflorescence 2-6 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf sheath enlarged, inflated or distended, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blade auriculate, Leaf blades 2 or more cm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade with prominen tly raised or widened midvein, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Leaf blades scabrous, roughened, or wrinkled, Ligule present, Ligule a fringed, ciliate, or lobed membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence lateral or axillary, Inflorescence a dense slender spike-like panicle or raceme, branches contracted, Inflorescence with 2 or more spikes, fascicles, glomerules, heads, or clusters per culm, Inflorescence spike linear or cylindric, several times longer than wide, Inflorescence a panicle with narrowly racemose or spicate branches, Inflorescence single raceme, fascicle or spike, Inflorescence with 2-10 branches, Inflorescence branches paired or digitate at a single node, Rachis enlarged, corky, Flowers unisexual, Plants monoecious, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets laterally compressed, Inflorescence or spikelets partially hidden in leaf sheaths, subtended by spatheole, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 1 fertile floret, Spikelets with 2 florets, Spikelets paired at rachis nodes, Spikelets in paired units, 1 sessile, 1 pedicellate, Pedicellate spikelet rudimentary or absent, usually sterile, Spikelets unisexual, Spikelets not disarticulating, or tardy, Spikelets closely appressed or embedded in concave portions of axis, Monoecious - staminate and pistillate spikelets on separate inflorescences, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma 1 nerved, Lemma 3 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex truncate, rounded, or obtuse, Lemma awnless, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea longer than lemma, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis.

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Cultivated cereal (Maize, Corn).

    Habitat & Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    Widely cultivated in China [originating in America; widely cultivated elsewhere].

Life Expectancy

    Life Expectancy
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Annual.