Encyclopedia > Maize

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Varieties of Maize
Larger maize
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Zea
Zea diploperennis
Zea luxurians
Zea mays
Zea mexicana
Zea perennis
ITIS 42268 (http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=42268) 2002-09-22

Maize, or corn, is a staple food[?] grain from North America of the genus Zea, especially Zea mays. Teosinite is any other species, especially Zea luxurians.

In North America, Zea mays is known as "corn", while the other species are known as "maize"; alternatively, the term "corn" may be restricted to sweetcorn, as in Australia, and "maize" used for other varieties of Zea mays. (In other countries, the term "corn" is more general.) Teosinte was once classified as genus Euchlaena, but that is obsolete.

Larger GEM corn

As a food, maize (Zea mays) is used in various forms. One hybridised variety, sweetcorn, is particularly popular. Sweetcorn can be eaten directly off the cob or cooked as a vegetable. Hominy is popular in the southeastern parts of the US, where it is usually eaten as a component of lunch, dinner, and supper; grits, made from hominy, are commonly eaten for breakfast. The flour of maize is used to make cornbread and Mexican tortillas.

Teosinte (Zea luxurians) is used as fodder[?].

In 1940, Barbara McClintock received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovery of the first transposons in maize.

Maize was cultivated and domesticated by the American Indians. It is uncertain exactly which wild species served as the origin of modern domesticated maize.

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