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Botanical description

Maize stems superficially resemble bamboo canes and the internodes can commonly be 7 inches. Maize has a distinct growth form, with the lower leaves being like broad flags, generally 50?100 centimetres long and 5?10 centimetres wide (2?4 ft by 2?4 in), the stems are erect, conventionally 2?3 metres (7?10 ft) in height, with many nodes, casting off flag-leaves at every node. Under these leaves and close to the stem grow the ears. They grow about 3 millimetres a day[18].

Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Corn is one of the most commonly grown foods in the world.

Seed

Oil

Pollen

Stem

Flowers

Material uses

Seeds

Cobs

Stems

Husk

Spathe

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

A decoction of the leaves and roots is used in the treatment of strangury, dysuria and gravel[6].

The corn silks are cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, lithontripic, mildly stimulant and vasodilator[19][20][21][22][6]. They also act to reduce blood sugar levels and so are used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus[20][6] as well as cystitis, gonorrhoea, gout etc[23]. The silks are harvested before pollination occurs and are best used when fresh because they tend to lose their diuretic effect when stored and also become purgative[20]. A decoction of the cob is used in the treatment of nose bleeds and menorrhagia[6]. The seed is diuretic and a mild stimulant[19]. It is a good emollient poultice for ulcers, swellings and rheumatic pains[19], and is widely used in the treatment of cancer, tumours and warts[6]. It contains the cell-proliferant and wound-healing substance allantoin, which is widely used in herbal medicine (especially from the herb comfrey, Symphytum officinale) to speed the healing process[23].

The plant is said to have anticancer properties and is experimentally hypoglycaemic and hypotensive[6].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Shrub

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed

Seed - sow April in individual pots in a greenhouse. Grow on quickly and plant out after the last expected frosts. A direct outdoor sowing, especially of some of the less sweet varieties, can be tried in May. [Britain]


Cultivation

Requires a warm position a well drained soil and ample moisture in the growing season[24][3]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 6.8[25]. Requires a rich soil if it is to do well[26].

Corn is widely cultivated for its edible seed, especially in tropical and warm temperate zones of the world[25], there are many named varieties[27]. Unfortunately, the plant is not frost tolerant and so needs to be started off under glass in Britain if a reasonable crop is to be grown. There are five main types:-

    Sweetcorn is of fairly recent development. It has very sweet, soft-skinned grains that can be eaten raw or cooked before they are fully ripe. Cultivars have been developed that can produce a worthwhile crop even in the more northerly latitudes of Britain if a suitable warm sunny sheltered site is chosen[9].
    Popcorn is a primitive form with hard-skinned grains. When roasted, these grains 'explode' to form the popular snack 'popcorn'[9].
    Waxy corn is used mainly in the Far East. It has a tapioca-like starch[9].
    Flint corn, which shrinks on drying, can have white, yellow, purple, red or blue-black grains[9]. It is not so sweet and also takes longer to mature so is a problematic crop in Britain. There are many other uses for this plant as detailed below.
    Dent corn has mostly white to yellow grains. This and Flint corn are widely grown for oils, cornflour, cereals and silage crops.
Corn grows well with early potatoes, legumes, dill, cucurbits and sunflowers[28][29][26], it dislikes growing with tomatoes[29].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

Cucurbita (Squash)

All vine species of the genus Curcubita can be intercropped with Zea mays. If the latter is not planted too densely, the thin leaves allow plenty of light to reach the ground and vines of the former can spread and its large leaves provide ground cover to retain moisture and prevent compaction and nutrient leeching from rain.

Polycultures & Guilds

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Zea mays
Genus
Zea
Family
Gramineae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
9
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    2 x
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Illustration Zea mays0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Zea mays0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    "image:Illustration Zea mays0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Zea mays0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.




    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (32202/01/01)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table. Faber (32202/01/01)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Harrison. S. Wallis. M. Masefield. G. The Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.65.75.85.9 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.76.8 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (32202/01/01)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (32202/01/01)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (32202/01/01)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.5 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (32202/01/01)
    10. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pfaf
    11. ? 11.011.1 Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds. Pivot Health (32202/01/01)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (32202/01/01)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    14. ? 14.014.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (32202/01/01)
    15. ? 15.015.115.215.3 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (32202/01/01)
    16. ? 16.016.116.216.3 Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (32202/01/01)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (32202/01/01)
    18. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named wikipedia
    19. ? 19.019.119.219.3 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (32202/01/01)
    20. ? 20.020.120.220.3 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (32202/01/01)
    21. ? 21.021.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    22. ? 22.022.1 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (32202/01/01)
    23. ? 23.023.123.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (32202/01/01)
    24. ? Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (32202/01/01)
    25. ? 25.025.125.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
    26. ? 26.026.1 Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (32202/01/01)
    27. ? Bianchini. F., Corbetta. F. and Pistoia. M. Fruits of the Earth. ()
    28. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (32202/01/01)
    29. ? 29.029.1 Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (32202/01/01)


    "image:Illustration Zea mays0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Zea mays"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupNo +
    Belongs to familyGramineae +
    Belongs to genusZea +
    Has common nameMaize +, Sweet Corn + and Corn +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partSeeds +, Pollen +, Stem + and Flowers +
    Has edible useFresh +, Cooked +, Dried +, Ground +, Flour +, Thickener +, Popped +, Sprouted +, Roasted +, Coffee substitute +, Oil +, Sugar + and Syrup +
    Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has hardiness zone9 +
    Has imageIllustration Zea mays0.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
    Has material partSeeds +, Cobs +, Stem +, Husk + and Spathe +
    Has material useAdhesive +, Starch +, Oil +, Fuel +, Packing +, Paper + and Basketry +
    Has mature height2 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useCancer +, Cholagogue +, Demulcent +, Diuretic +, Hypoglycaemic +, Hypotensive +, Lithontripic +, Stimulant +, Vasodilator + and Warts +
    Has primary imageIllustration Zea mays0.jpg +
    Has search namezea mays + and x +
    Has seed requiring scarificationNo +
    Has seed requiring stratificationNo +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid + and Neutral +
    Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
    Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
    Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomy nameZea mays +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheShrub +
    Is grown fromSeeds +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    Native to geographical rangeNorth America +
    Tolerates air pollutionNo +
    Tolerates maritime exposureNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Tolerates windNo +