Maize (Zea mays), also known as corn in North America or mealie in South Africa, is the most planted food in the world. It covers more land than even humans, than any plant or animal. And yet if humans died out, it would die out a few years later – it does not grow wild.

Thanks to Meso-Americans, it grows well in the tropics. Thanks to the Mound Builders, it grows well in the temperate zone too, allowing it to spread to Europe and northern China.


Colours: yellow, red, blue, orange, black, pink, purple, creamy white, multicoloured.



  • -6000: gathered in Mexico (looks like baby corn).
  • -5000: planted in Mexico.
  • -2000: spreads to South America.
  • -1500: yields are high enough to support the rise of Meso-American civilization.
  • +800: spreads to eastern North America. Rise of the Mound Builders –…

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