Letters, Sep. 13, 1948

Corn Rustle

Sir:

"From Illinois to Arkansas, the cornfields nodded in silky tassel" [TIME, Aug. 23].

The above sentence is beautiful English, but very poor botany.

Corn silks are not borne on the tassel. They are the stigmas and styles of the pistillate flowers, borne in the form of a spike called the ear on a branch about midway down the side of the stalk or stem. When the silks are first projected from the tip of the ear, en masse, they are pendant, and flexible enough to be swayed by the gentlest breeze.

The staminate flowers...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!