This grain crop is also known as Corn or Sweet Corn. It was cultivated in Middle America by the Olmec and the Mayan people in ancient times from about 3500 BC, and it was not until 1700 that the plant was grown throughout the Americas.
Maize is now grown on most continents throughout the world and it is used
to produce cereal, starch and oil. The leaves and stems are also used
for animal feed.
Corn flour is an important ingredient in the Mexican flatbreads called
tortillas. For this, the maize is treated with lime water and in this
form it is known as Masa.
There are many varieties of Maize;
Flour corn is produced using the gluten rich Zea mays var. amylacea.
Popcorn is best made from the variety Zea mays var. everta.
Sweet corn is produced using the sugar rich varieties Zea mays var. saccharata and Zea mays var. rugosa.
Striped maize is an unusually coloured variety of Zea mays var. japonica.