Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom logo AgMag logo

Agriculture Helping you every day

The Corn Plant

This is an unusually large plant. Corn stalks can grow 7-10 feet tall! Corn has very strong roots to support such a large stalk. A tassel grows at the top of each cornstalk. The tassel has hundreds of small flowers that produce pollen. Long leaves grow out from the stalk.

Ears of corn grow where the leaves join the stalk. Special leaves, called husks, protect each ear. Each ear may have 10-18 (or more) rows of kernels, always in pairs. Each ear will have between 400-800 kernels. Every kernel has a thread that runs from the kernel up the row and sticks out at the end of the ear. This is called the corn silk. Each silk has to be pollinated to produce a kernel of corn. If a pollen grain from the tassel lands on a corn silk, than a kernel will form.