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; Oils
Selection and adaptations Variation
Lessons Biodiversity
Keywords Gramineae
Date 1997
Location Vermont,USA,North America
Corn or maize, <i>Zea mays</i>, variation
Related materials: Corn

Corn or maize. This New World crop was first domesticated in Mexico; the earliest varieties date from about 7,500 years before the present. This is a small sample of the variety of different types of corn that breeders have developed. 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.