Zea mays

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Zea mays L.
  • Common Name : Maize, Makai, Indian Corn, Bhuta
  • Plant Family : Poaceae (Gramineae)
  • According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Gramineae became Poaceae. However, the name Gramineae is also exempted and conserved under 'Nomina Conservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.

  • Plant Form : Grasses
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 4, 26

About Zea mays Plant :

  • Habit : A tall, annual monoecious grass with erect, solid stem with the roots fibrous and stilt.
  • Leaves : Distichous, long, strap-shaped with wavy margin and base with two auricles, sheathing at the base, ligule clasping the stem.
  • Flowers :
    • Staminate tassel at the apex consisting of spikelets, which are 2-flowered, outer glumes 2, flowering glume and palea hyaline.
    • Stamens 0, anthers versatile, lodicules 2.
    • Female inflorescence called the ear is thick and axillary, spikelets in many vertical rows, spikelets 2-flowered but the lower floret is abortive, carpel one, glumes 4, style very long, stigma bifid, hairy.
  • Fruit : Caryopsis conical, white or yellow.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : July - September
  • Significance :
    • Commonly cultivated as a food crop.
    • The stem and leaves are used as fodder.