Zea mays var. everta – Popcorn – Corn

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Zea – Corn –

There are 5 annual, rarely perennial grasses naturally occurring along field margins and on disturbed ground in Central America.  The sturdy stems bear lance shaped leaves in 2 ranks.  They produce terminal spike like male panicles (the tassels), axillary female inflorescence (the ears) consist of numerous flowers arranged in longitudinal row on a thickened axis (the cob).  The female flowers, each with a long, silky style, are enclosed within spathe bracts (the Husks) and mature into fleshy kernels.  Z. mays (corn) are an important cereal crop in tropical and temperate regions.  A number of ornamental cultivars are valued for their multicolored ears and their variegated foliage.  Grow in a mixed border or as accent plants in summer bedding designs.

Grow in a warm, sheltered site in fertile, moist but well drained soil in full sun.

Prone to downy mildew, damping off, rust, smut, and a wide variety of fungal spots.  Corn earworm, and many other insect pests are frequent problems on some cultivars.

Zea mays var. everta – Popcorn – This grass, which grows to 4-10’ feet tall and 2’ feet wide.  It produces long, pointed leaves, to 4’ feet long.  Flowers are generally blue and spikey.  It bears a wide variety of kernel sizes and husk colors, and usually just one ear per plant, in late summer.  Sow seed 6” apart.  Matures in 100-120 days.