Zea mays

Zea mays

Sweetcorn

Key Information

  • Botanical name: Zea mays
  • Common name: Sweetcorn
  • Plant type: Vegetable

Height: 1.5m

Spread: 60cm

Foliage colour:
  • Green

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Believed to have been first cultivated in Mexico, sweetcorn, Zea mays, was introduced into Europe in the 16th century and soon became a staple crop. Its deliciously sweet cobs can be barbecued to eat hole or boiled with the kernals separated to add to dishes. There are many sweetcorn varieties, ripening early, mid-season or late, and are therefore suited to different parts of the UK.

Grow Zea mays in blocks rather than in rows, to ensure full wind-pollination. It needs full sun, in moist but well-drained, fertile, preferably acid or neutral soils. Tassels at the ends of cobs turn black as an indication of ripeness.

Position

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Aspect: South facing, West facing
  • Hardiness: Half hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained/light/sandy

Wildlife

Attracts:
  • Bees

  • Beneficial insects

  • Birds

  • Butterflies / Moths

  • Other pollinators

Care routine

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sow
Sow
Yes
Yes
Plant
Plant
Yes
Yes
Harvest
Harvest
Yes
Yes

Toxicity

Toxic to:
  • People

  • Cats

  • Dogs

  • Birds

  • Horses

  • Livestock

  • Effects: No toxic effects reported for this plant.

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