I’m growing ‘Serendipity” sweet corn. Two years running, I’ve only seen this phenomenon on this variety. The plants develop a “sucker” that grows a (usually inedible and partially undeveloped) ear ON THE TIP of the sucker!!!
It’s not uncommon. I have seen that every year here. I know cause we plant corn for decades, and in early summer we remove them by hand,just brake them at the base. If we leave them that way they draw nutrients from mother plant. Probably some varietes do not have suckers.
I guess they are called tassel-ears. Can develop both from stress AND excessively GOOD growing conditions! What I’m reading says they don’t affect yield.
Wow, interesting.I wish all my corns could grow on the top of the stock so raccoon won’t get to them
Tassel ears are common on old varieties of corn and on most sweet corn varieties. Go back 2000 years and that is the way all corn was produced. Roughly 1500 years ago, a mutation caused a sucker to produce an ear but not elongate. The result was the shuck covered ear of corn we have today. Suckers that do not produce an ear are beneficial to a plant. They produce nutrients through photosynthesis that sustain the mother plant. When they produce a tassel ear, they tend to absorb nutrients which can cause the main ear on the mother plant to be less well developed. Now for the big question, has anyone ever seen a tassel where the florets were each a kernel of corn? It looks like a corn plant having a really bad hair day.
Very interesting piece of corn evaluation story