(Zea mays) Sweet corn, pop corn, “Indian corn”

Maize (Zea mays) was domesticated in southern Mexico about 10 000 years ago. Domesticated maize is very different from its wild parent, and it seems to have been deliberately bred over many years to have desirable properties. It gradually spread into South America, then into North America, finally reaching the east coast of the US about 1000 years ago. After Columbus, maize spread into Europe and beyond. Now it produces the largest weight of any grain crop world-wide.