Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maize that amazed me!

At school we are taught and shown that fruits are formed out of flowers after pollination. We also see it happen in reality in the Nature. I was wondering about a plant that flowered at its top but bore no fruit out of those flowers! After some weeks a fruit body appeared growing larger and larger from its side lower down! I found this wonder in
Sweet Corn (Zea mays var.rugosa or ‘Makka chollam’ in Tamil). Actually the punch of flowers on the tip of the stem is the male inflorescence (tassel) and that on the side (‘the fruit body’) is the female inflorescence (ears)! The corn matures out from this female inflorescence.

In yester years, this plant, the sweet corn was not seen cultivated here in South India. But now it is seen grown in every place through modern agricultural practices. It is very much adaptive to varying temperatures and grows fast to give a high yield – making itself a wonder plant!

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