I love growing weird plants, and I’m endlessly fascinated by plant breeding and the extreme transformations humans have made in our crop plants over the history of agriculture.
Which is why growing teosinte, the wild ancestor of corn, was a no brainer. Even before I planted it, comparing the seeds is fascinating.
Once growing you can see the similarity. Teosinte is on the left in the picture below, corn on the right.
The most dramatic difference between the two, I think, is the “ear” of teosinte, which is nothing more than a thin sprig of half-a-dozen seeds.
It is amazing to me that native Americans in Southern Mexico, with no knowledge of genetics, were able to transform this grass with a handful of tiny, rock-hard seeds into one of the single most productive crops in the world.