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Corn, Zea mays, is an annual grass in the family Poaceae and is a staple food crop grown all over the world. The corn plant possesses a simple stem of nodes and internodes. A pair of large leaves extends off of each internode and the leaves total 8–21 per plant. The leaves are linear or lanceolate (lance-like) with an obvious midrib and can grow from 30 to 100 cm (11.8–39.4 in) in length. The male and female inflorescences (flower bearing region of the plant) are positioned separately on the plant. The male inflorescence is known as the 'tassel' while the female inflorescence is the 'ear'. The ear of the corn is a modified spike and there may be 1–3 per plant. The corn grains, or 'kernels', are encased in husks and total 30–1000 per ear. The kernels can be white, yellow, red, purple or black in color. Corn is an annual plant, surviving for only one growing season prior to harvest and can reach 2–3 m (7–10 ft) in height. Corn may also be referred to as maize or Indian corn and is believed to originate from Mexico and Central America.

Common Pests and Diseases