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Plant Life Cycle of Corn Maize

Updated February 21, 2017

Corn or maize is one of America's most popular crops. According to the USDA, some 80 million acres of land in the United States are planted with corn. Its life cycle is similar to that of many other angiosperms.

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Corn plants grow to heights ranging from 3 to 15 feet. The mature plant features a pollen tassel, a cluster of hundreds of small flowers at the top of the stalk. Wind or insects and birds transfer pollen from the tassel to the silks, which look like tufts of hair emanating from the stalks.


Once the silks have been pollinated, the pollen grains produce sperm that fertilise eggs within the megagametophyte, which will develop to become a corn kernel. Each kernel is a seed containing an embryo that will germinate once it finds fertile soil.

Time Frame

The life cycle of a corn plant lasts from 120 to 150 days. During this time frame, the corn kernel will develop into a mature plant, produce flowers and fertilise them, then develop new corn kernels or seeds that will repeat the cycle.

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About the Author

Based in San Diego, John Brennan has been writing about science and the environment since 2006. His articles have appeared in "Plenty," "San Diego Reader," "Santa Barbara Independent" and "East Bay Monthly." Brennan holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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