Photographed by F. Percy Smith. Editing and Commentary by Mary Field. Musical Setting by W. Hodgson. A British Instructional Film.
Head of maize or "Indian Corn". Voice over describes how to cook maize. Describes how the cob is really a group of 400 - 600 fertilised seeds of the maize. C/U of the cob. Through time lapse we see one of the corn seeds putting out roots and growing. We see the shoots pushing through the earth. Leaves break through spear like cover and start to grow. The root pushes deeper down into the soil. Two roots struggle for supremacy. Leaves unfurl. New roots grow like an umbrella in shape to hold the plant into the ground and prevent it being blown over by strong winds. Aerial roots appear. Full grown maize blows in the wind. Maize flowers. Male and female flowers. The male flower puts out "anthers" which open and drop out pollen. Magnified anther is shown opening - pollen grains drop out. Highly magnified pollen grains. Anther closes during wet weather as water spoils pollen.
The plant is prodded and flicked with a hand to show how clouds of pollen are released. The pollen is carried to the female flower. We see the female flower growing. Long threads of "silk" are covered with sticky hairs which catch grains of pollen. C/U of pollen putting out a tube. Graphic illustration of the pollen tube - animation. Animation of fertilisation of seeds. The silk gradually dies away and seeds remain on the cob.
Note: neg has been cut for use in the "Botany" series of Secrets of Nature.