SJ7964 : Female flowers of Maize

taken 8 years ago, near to Brereton Heath, Cheshire, Great Britain

Female flowers of Maize
Female flowers of Maize
These are semi-mature flowers of the Maize plants seen in SJ7964 : Footpath by the Maize crop (1) and SJ7964 : Footpath by the Maize crop (2).

Maize (Zea mays) is an extremely important plant and, although I suspect this crop will be used as animal fodder, it has many and varied uses around the world. In many countries it is a staple diet- either by grinding the kernels into a paste, or using them as a grain ( LinkExternal link ) . Maize is also used in the production of breakfast cereals such as Corn Flakes and Cheerios. Cornbread, tortillas, sweetcorn, popcorn and corn on the cob are amongst its many other uses as a foodstuff, and it is also used in the production of certain alcoholic beverages such as Bourbon Whiskey and a South American drink called Chicha. The hollowed-out cobs have also been used as cheap pipes for smoking tobacco ( LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link ) ) . Whole, dried, multi-coloured Maize cobs are used in scientific research for studying and teaching genetics ( LinkExternal link ) , and there is ongoing research into the use of Maize as a bio-fuel to replace diesel.It is also used in the production of cooking oil, plaster and plastics ( LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link ) ) . It can also be burnt in specially designed stoves ( LinkExternal link ) . Maize Mazes are rapidly becoming a tourist attraction in many countries too ( LinkExternal link ) , these are created by either cutting a path with a machine through the crop when it is fairly tall ( LinkExternal link ) or by using GPS when the plants are young and easy to remove ( LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link ) ) .

Maize plants can grow anywhere between 2 and 3 metres in height, and their stems resemble Bamboo canes. At the top of the plant are the male flowers that fertilise the tassel-like female flowers below. When the tassels are young (known as 'ears') they can be used as a herbal medicine, or eaten like a sweet. As the cobs begin to form and mature the ears become a bright pink colour, seen in this picture, and the cobs start to fatten with the kernels inside them ( LinkExternal link ) . Both the male and female flowers show up very clearly in SJ7964 : Footpath by the Maize crop (2). The methods of harvesting vary as to the use of the plant.
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SJ7964, 53 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 18 August, 2010   (more nearby)
Submitted
Friday, 20 August, 2010
Category
Flowers   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 799 647 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:10.7812N 2:18.0667W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 799 647
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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