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The genus Zea has around 6 species in the grass family, Poaceae. These species are also known by the names maize, sweetcorn and Indian corn. These are typically annual plants, but some may be perennial and this genus includes important cereal crops. Originating from Central America, plants in this genus are often found in disturbed habitats, particularly along field margins. Flowers resemble tassels and lead onto fleshy kernels arranged on a cob. Foliage is lance-shaped and produced in arrangements of 2 ranks. Ornamental cultivars have been produced with variegated foliage and attractive multicoloured cobs.