Corn Surprise!

by Ann Bartkowski

No, it’s not today’s lunch club- it’s what we got during our fruit dissection today with Karen! When Lianna and I took on the challange of dissecting an ear of corn, we didn’t realize we were biting off more than we could chew. When we were shucking the corn, we found something unusual…never before seen in Explainer training (even by Karen who has seen a lot)! We found an undeveloped mini-corn-on-the-cob inside the green, leafy part next to the fully developed ear of corn! It was a-MAIZE-ing! Here are some photos:

We were all ears to hear Karen’s ideas of what this could be. After a chat with her, our theory is that the silky parts of the corn are the stigmas (female part) that contain a tube for the pollen to travel down to fertilize the eggs. Because the silk strands from this tiny corn were enveloped by the green husk no pollen was able to get to them. We believe what these photos show are lots of little unfertilized corn eggs, which do not taste as delicious as grown-up corn kernels.

Sorry if this post was too corny for you!