Corn or maize is a grain of the family grasses and originates from the American continent where already 5,500 years ago it was cultivated by the Incas, the Mayans and the Aztecs. Its Greek name, “maize”, means “the wheat (wheat) of the Arabs” and was introduced to Greece in 1600 from North Africa.
It is an annual, tall plant with a thick upright and compact shoot, narrow and long leaves in the shape of a sword and wavy edges. At the top of the plant there is the male inflorescence that forms a thysano, and has the name phoebe. The female inflorescence consists of a wide ear with a thick shaft, on which the flowers are located in rows. This inflorescence is called the spadika. Then the place of the flowers is taken by the grains covered by leaves while at the top of the cob there is a tuft consisting of many long capillary threads.
Corn and its cultivation are widespread worldwide. The U.S. has the largest production in the world with 285 million tons per year. They are followed by China, Brazil and Mexico.
In Greece it is cultivated mainly in Thessaly, Macedonia, Thrace, Central Greece and the Peloponnese. Annual production reaches 1.5 million tons.