Species: Zea mays
Maize, or corn (Zea mays), is an annual herbaceous plant that belongs to the Poaceae (or Graminaceae) family.
It seems that this species, native to South America, was already grown in Peru many years before the continent was discovered. It was introduced to the U.S.A. towards the end of the 18th Century and began to be cultivated on a large scale during the second half of the 19th Century.
The plant prefers hot-temperate climates; it grows in various types of earth but prefers soils that are well drained, neutral and moderately acid. In order to obtain a good harvest you need to irrigate regularly, especially when the plants are flowering.
The stalk is around 2 m – 2.5 m tall, it’s divided by highly visible nodes and held in place by a robust fascicled root system.
The leaves, which grow from the nodes, are lanceolate with a pointed tip and they have parallel veins that can be seen well on both the upper and lower side of the leaf.
Maize produces both male and female flowers on the same plant; the male flowers are found at the apex of the stalk while the female inflorescences, commonly known as ears, grow in the leaf axils.
The ears are approximately 25 cm long, joined to the stalk by large peduncle and at the tip they have a tuft of styles, silky threads around 10 cm long that capture pollen.
The seeds develop inside the ear and are protected by a number of modified leaves, known as the husk leaves.
The parts of this plant that we eat are the immature seeds, called caryopses; they can be white or yellow.
Maize is very popular in cookery, the ears can be cooked in various ways, the seeds can be used in salads or they can be ground to make maize flour, an ingredient used in many dishes both sweet and savoury.
|Scientific name||Zea Mays|
|Recommended Seeding||in the ground|
|Number of seeds||2|
|Sowing Depth||2.00 cm|
|Distance between rows||60 cm / 75 cm|
|Distance between rows||25 cm / 30 cm|
|Estimated number of plants/sqm||8.00|
|Average growing time||70 gg / 110 gg|
|Average sprouting time||8 gg / 15 gg|
|Produce per sqm||0.70 kg / 1.00 kg|
|Ideal Sprouting Temperature (C°)||12 °c - °c|
|Min. Temperature (C°)||10 °c|
|Soil pH||5.50 / 7.50|
|Can be grown in pots||no|