Where did corn originate from?


Quick Answer

The exact birthplace of corn, or maize, is unknown, but most historians believe it was first grown in Mexico's Tehuacan Valley. The grain first came to Europe after Christopher Columbus's journey in 1492.

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Full Answer

Corn was not a wild crop that the Amerindians in Mexico domesticated. Rather, they took a wild grain, teosinte, and genetically manipulated it over generations through selective breeding. Eventually, around 7,000 years ago, they developed the corn common throughout the world today. In England and other parts of the world, "corn" refers to any cereal, like wheat or oats; in such countries, the corn that originated in the Tehuacan Valley is called "maize" or "Indian corn."

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