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corn, maize
Zea mays L. (Poaceae)
General description:
Corn is an annual plant in the grass family, first domesticated in Central America. Plants grow as an unbranched stalk from 1 to 4 meters tall, with leaves from 50 to 90 centimeters in length. Corn has separate male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers (tassels) are located at the top of the plant, while female flowers are located in the axils of the leaves. Female flowers develop into a cob with 16-30 rows of seeds. Cobs are typically about 24 centimeters long, but can reach 60 centimeters in some varieties. Seeds are yellow or white in most commercial varieties, but can exhibit a rainbow of colors.
History, uses and importance:
Corn was domesticated at least 7000 years ago in Mexico, and was soon introduced into the mountains of South America. Later introductions brought corn into South American lowlands and temperate North America. By the time of European contact, corn was grown throughout the New World, and was brought to the Old World by European explorers.

There are several broad categories of corn varieties based on the starch composition. Sweet corn is high in sugar and is eaten fresh. Waxy corn has an easily extracted amylopectin based starch. Flour corn has soft starch. Flint corn has hard starch. Dent corn has starch of intermediate hardnessand is the most widely grown type of corn, especially for animal feed.

Corn may be eaten fresh, but is most commonly consumed by humans after being ground into a flour that is used as an ingredient in many cuisines. Oil and starch are extracted from corn, and the starch may be further processed into corn syrup. Corn is also used to produce alcoholic beverages. However, only around one fifth of global corn production is directly consumed by people. More than half is used as livestock feed. Corn is also commonly used a raw material for the production of various chemicals, especially ethanol as a biofuel.

By production weight, corn is the most important crop in the world. In 2014, slightly more than 1 billion metric tons of corn were produced (followed by rice with 741 million metric tons). The United States is the largest producer of corn (producing 361 million metric tons, about 35% of the world total). Other major corn producing countries include China, Brazil and Argentina.
General References:
Encyclopedia of Life profile
The mysterious origin of corn (video)
Teacher-Friendly Guide to the Evolution of Maize
John Doebley Lab (research on maize domestication)
Blake, Michael 2015 Maize for the Gods: Unearthing the 9,000-Year History of Corn. Oakland, California: University of California Press.
Boivin, Nicole, Rémy Crassard, and Michael Petraglia, with Bruce Smith 2017 Human Dispersal and Species Movement: From Prehistory to the Present. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Comprehensive museum links:
Artefacts Canada, ?Botanical? Corn
Artefacts Canada, Bourbon Whiskey
Artefacts Canada, Corn
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Annotated Checklist of Cultivated Plants of Hawai?i, Maize
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Taxonomic Search, Zea mays
The British Museum, Corn Cob
The British Museum, Corn
The British Museum, Corn Husk
The British Museum, Corn Kernel
The British Museum, Maize
The Brooklyn Museum, Corn
The Chicago Field Museum, Botany Department, Search Zea mays
The Chicago Field Museum, Neotropical Herbarium Specimens, Zea mays
The Chicago Field Museum, Economic Botany, Search Zea Mays
The Chicago Field Museum, Botany Detailed Search, Search Zea Mays
The Chicago Field Museum, Anthropology Collections, Search Corn
The Chicago Field Museum, Anthropology Collections, Search Maize
The Chicago Field Museum, Anthropology Photo Collections, ?Young Woman in the process of grinding corn. Hopi. 1901
The Chicago Field Museum, vTypes Collection Database, Search Zea Mays
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEO, (Library) Maissi/Corn
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEO, Maissi/Corn
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEUM, Maissikuori/ Cornhusk-corn peel
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEO, maissin siitep?ly?
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEO, maissint?hk? (corn cob)
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEO, maissit?rkkelys (corn starch)
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEO, maissin siemenet (corn seeds)
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEO, maissi taide (corn art)
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTOMUSEO, maissi nuke (corn doll)
M. Toidze House-Museum, Georgian National Museum, Painting Collection, Thershing
Museum of Fine Arts, Georgian National Museum, Contemporary Georgian Art, Grain Elevator in Poti
Open Air Museum of Ethnography, Georgian National Museum, Ethnography Collections, Hand-Mill
Open Air Museum of Ethnography, Georgian National Museum, Ethnography Collections, Implement for Harvesting
Penobscot Marine Museum, Corn
Penobscot Marine Museum, Planter Corn
Rijksmuseum, Rijksstudio, Maize
Rijksmusum, Rijksstudio, ?Zea Mays?
The Lithuanian National Museum/Lietuvos Nacionalinis Mujiejus
Victoria and Albert Museum, Corn
Victoria and Albert Museum, Corn husk
Victoria and Albert Museum, Corn Kernel
Victoria and Albert Museum, Maize
Natural history museum links:
American Museum of Natural History, Anthropology Collections, Search Corn, Maize, Cornhusk, Corncob (Object Types, All Collections)
National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan, Natural History Collection Database, Search Zea mays
Natural History Museum, London, Botany Collection, Zea Mays
Natural History Museum, London, Library and Archives, Zea mays
Natural History Museum, London, Library and Archives, Corn
Natural History Museum, London, Library and Archives, Maize
Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County, Anthropology Collections Database, Search in ?Keyword? Corn/Maize
Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County, Seaver Center Collection, Search in ?Keyword? Corn
Natural History Museum of Utah, Rio Tinto Center, University of Utah, Anthropology Collections, Maize
Natural History Museum of Utah, Rio Tinto Center, University of Utah, Intermountain Region Herbarium Network, Zea mays
Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, Fullerton Arboretum, Plant Map
Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, Fullerton Arboretum, Plant Records, Perennial Maize
Royal Horticultural Society, UK, Zea Mays
Science Museum of Minnesota, Corn
Skala Bartizal Library: NCSML (National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library), Search Corn
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Anthropology Department Collections, Type ?Corn? and ?Maize? into ?Keyword Search?
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Department of Botany Collections, Type ?Zea mays? into ?Keyword Search?
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Department of Botany Collections, Type ?Zea mays? in ?Scientific Name? into ?Botanical Art?
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Department of Botany Collections, Type ?corn? in ?Common Name? into ?Botanical Art?
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Department of Botany Collections, Type ?Zea mays? in ?Scientific Name? into ?Plant Photo Archive?
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, corn
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, maize
UK Science Museum, Corn
History museum links:
The Autry Museum of the American West, Corn
The Autry Museum of the American West, Corn Husk
Chicago History Museum, Images, Corn
Chicago History Museum, Research Center, History Fair, Corn
Glendora Historical Society, Corn
Godalming Museum, Corn Dibblers
Godalming Museum, Hand Axe Collected by Corn and Seed Businessman
National History Museum, Los Angeles County, Corn
The National Museum of American History, Corn
The National Museum of American History, Corn cob
The National Museum of American History, Cornhusk
The National Museum of American History, Corn oil
The National Museum of American History, Corn seed
The National Museum of American History, Corn starch
Minnesota Historical Society, Corn
Minnesota Historical Society, Cornhusk
Minnesota Historical Society, Cornstarch
Missouri History Museum, St. Louis, Corn
Wisconsin Historical Society, Corn
Wisconsin Historical Society, Online Exhibit on 1948 Wisconsin World?s Fair Murals
Wisconsin Historical Society, Translated: Three-Row Corn Planters
Wisconsin Historical Society, Corn Poster
Art museum links:
The Bates College Museum of Art, Corn #1
The Bates College Museum of Art, Corn Dance Maiden
The Bates College Museum of Art, Driving Home the Corn
The Bates College Museum of Art, Husking the Corn in New England
The Bates College Museum of Art, The Last Days of Harvest
The Bates College Museum of Art, Search Maize
The Bates College Museum of Art, Pumpkins Among the Corn
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Corn man
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Cornstalks and Pumpkins
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Cornstalks and Pumpkins
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Driving Home the Corn
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Girl with Corn Flakes
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Husking the Corn in New England
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Husking the Corn in New England
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Loading Corn
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Photo of Corn Roast
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Pumpkins Among the Corn
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, The Cornwagon
British Council: Visual Arts, Sun Over Cornfields
Colby Museum of Art, Husking
The Broad, Los Angeles, Corn
Farnsworth Art Museum, Search Corn
Figge Art Museum, Corn
Georgia Museum of Art, Collections, ?Taos Corn Dancers?
Goldstein Museum of Design, Corn
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Maize (one of materials in the art)
High Museum of Art (Geoergia), Modern and Contemporary Art, ?Corn Rose?
High Museum of Art (Georgia), Modern and Contemporary Art, ?Night Corn?
High Museum of Art (Georgia), Photography, ?Burnt Corn, looking east, Galisteo Basin, NM?
High Museum of Art (Georgia), Photography, ?Corn Sign with Storm Cloud, Near Greensboro, Alabama?
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Corn
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Maize
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corn
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corn Cob
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maize
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Corn
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Maize
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Corn
Minnesota Museum of American Art, ?Preparing the Corn?
Minnesota Museum of American Art, ?Shocking Corn?
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Corn
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Corn Husk
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Corn Kernel
Portland Museum of Art, Search in Title Corn
Portland Art Museum, Corn
Portland Art Museum, Cornhusk
Portland Museum of Art, Corn
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Search Husking
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Cornhusking Day
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Corn Leaf Rythym
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Driving Home the Corn
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Guatemalan woman with corn
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Pumpkins Among the Corn
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Shelling Corn
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Shelling Corn
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Still Life with Corn
Portland Museum of Art (Maine), Stocks O? Standin? Corn
Photograph: Thapelo Moiloa ? Ha Salemore, Lesotho by Thom Pierce, 2016
St. Louis Art Museum, Search Corn
Tate, UK, Corn
Tate, UK, Harvest
Tate, UK, Maize
Anthropology museum links:
American Swedish Institute, Corn
National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library, Corn
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Culturas del Norte, Vasija-cajete tr?pode tipo Michil?a Cl?sico tard?o - Epicl?sico (500-950 d.C.) (appears to have corn row motifs)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Culturas del Norte, Vasija-copa al pseudocloisonn? con ?guila y serpiente Epicl?sico (600-900 d.C.), (Eagle and Serpent Motif represented gods that insured good rains for the corn harvest)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Culturas de Occidente, Vasija Cl?sico temprano (100-500 d.C.) / Fase Comala (0 - 400 d.C) (corn cob in the dog?s mouth)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Gran Nayer (Great Nayer),Tabaquera Wixarika/Huichol, (lo fuman en hojas de ma?z/ (tobacco) smoked in leaves of corn)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Maya, M?scara de Pakal Cl?sico tard?o (ca. 683 d.C.) (young God of Corn symbols on jade funerary mask
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Maya, Cl?sico tard?o (600-850 d.C) / ?rea Maya (young God of Corn represented on a conk shell piece)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Maya, Vaso estilo C?dice Cl?sico tard?o (600-850 d.C) / ?rea Maya (Young God of Corn lying on a mask)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Los Nahuas, Olotera Macehualmej/Nahua (Olotera?corn shucking)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Pueblos indios, ?rbol de la vida Mestizo (ma?z)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico, Pur?echerio, Batea P?urh?pecha/Pur?pecha (possible application of corn stalk paste, as is typical of this region?s ?batea?)
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), (All items involve Corn Cob)
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Corn Cob 2
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Cornhusk
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Cornhusk 2
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Corn Kernel
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Corn Kernel 2
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, UK), Search Corn/Corn Husk/Corn Seed (objects)
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, UK), Search Corn (photographs)
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, Corn
The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Corn Boy Kachina
The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Corn Cob Fragment
The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Corn Cob Smoother
The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Corn Cob Fragment
The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Corn Planter Figure
The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Corn Maiden Basketry Tray
The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Corn Husk
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: Preu?ischer Kulturbesitz: Ethnologisches Museum, Search Mais (Corn)
UBC Museum of Anthropology, Corn
UBC Museum of Anthropology, Corn husk
UBC Museum of Anthropology, Corn seed
UBC Museum of Anthropology, Corn cob
UBC Museum of Anthropology, Corn Cultural
UBC Museum of Anthropology, Maize
Library links:
Biodiversity Heritage Library, Corn
Biodiversity Heritage Library, Maize
Biodiversity Heritage Library, Corn Cob
The Bakken (Library, Minnesota), Corn
The Bakken (Library, Minnesota), Corn Reference
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: Transportation Research Library & Archives, Ethanol
Missouri Botanical Garden Biocultural Collections Search, Search Zea mays
Missouri Botanical Garden Peter H. Raven Library, Zea mays
Missouri Botanical Garden Peter H. Raven Library, corn
Missouri Botanical Garden Peter H. Raven Library, Maize
New Orleans Public Library (Partners with NATFAB; National Food and Beverage Foundation), Corn
New Orleans Public Library (Partners with NATFAB; National Food and Beverage Foundation), Corn cob
New Orleans Public Library (Partners with NATFAB; National Food and Beverage Foundation), cornhusk
New Orleans Public Library (Partners with NATFAB; National Food and Beverage Foundation), cornstarch
New Orleans Public Library (Partners with NATFAB; National Food and Beverage Foundation), maize
NPR, Sioux Corn Recipes
Simon Fraser University Library, Corn
UC San Diego (Library), Corn
UC San Diego (Library), Corn cob
UC San Diego (Library), cornhusk
UC San Diego (Library), cornstarch
Floristic and taxonomic links:
Flora of China
Flora of Taiwan
Grassbase
GRIN Taxonomy
IPNI
ITIS
Kew electronic Plant Information Centre
Plants of the World Online
USDA PLANTS
Herbarium links:
GBIF
JStor
Living collections and germplasm links:
Search Maize Germplasm at CIMMYT
Maize Germplasm at University of Illinois
MOBOT Living Collections
DNA and genetics links:
Maize Genome database
NCBI
UniProt
Specialized database links:
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Dr. Duke's Phytochemical Database
EPPO (plant pathogens)
Euro+Med Plantbase
Historical Plant Use Database
iNaturalist
Maize map (archeological specimens)
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
MOBOT Biocultural collections
Native American Ethnobotany database
Plants for a Future
Purdue University Center for New Crops & Plant Products
 
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