Pod corn or wild maize is a variety of maize.[1][2] It is not a wild ancestor of maize but rather a mutant that forms leaves around each kernel.[3]

Pod corn
Pod corn.JPG
SpeciesZea mays
VarietyZea mays var. tunicata

Pod corn (tunicata Sturt) is not grown commercially, but it is preserved in some localities.[4]

Pod corn forms glumes around each kernel which is caused by a mutation at the Tunicate locus. Because of its bizarre appearance, pod corn has had a religious significance to certain Native American tribes.[5]

The six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn.[6]


  1. ^ Maize Cobs and Cultures: History of Zea mays L. Springer. 2010. pp. 114–. ISBN 978-3-642-04524-0. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  2. ^ Han, JJ; Jackson, D; Martienssen, R (2012). "Pod corn is caused by rearrangement at the Tunicate1 locus". The Plant Cell. 24 (7): 2733–44. doi:10.1105/tpc.112.100537. PMC 3426111. PMID 22829149.
  3. ^ "Pod corn develops leaves in the inflorescences -- ScienceDaily".
  4. ^ Willy H. Verheye, ed. (2010). "Growth And Production Of Maize: Traditional Low-Input Cultivation". Soils, Plant Growth and Crop Production Volume II. EOLSS Publishers. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-84826-368-0.
  5. ^ Wingen, L. U., Munster, T., Faigl, W., Deleu, W., Sommer, H., Saedler, H., & Theissen, G. (2012). Molecular genetic basis of pod corn (Tunicate maize). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(18), 7115-7120. doi:10.1073/pnas.1111670109
  6. ^ Linda Campbell Franklin, "Corn," in Andrew F. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013 (pp. 551–558), p. 553.