By Sarah Fiorello

Grass Family – Poaceae

Native to Mexico

Dried ground corn was an important food ration of enslaved people living on plantations.  Cooks made it into small flat corn cakes placed directly in cooling embers or onto a sizzling hot skillet, it was also cooked as porridge, and baked into delicious cornbread.  Corn is one of the most important staple grains in the world today especially for people in Africa and Latin America where it is eaten daily as cooked cereal or corn flour tortillas.

Medicinal uses: Indigenous people shared with enslaved Africans how to make remedies from corn such as corn shuck tea, commonly taken for lowering fevers associated with colds and flu. Cornmeal mixed with lard was applied as a salve to soothe skin sores and bruises.

Varieties included in this display:
Zea mays ‘Glass Gem’
Zea mays ‘Fishers Earliest’
Zea mays ‘Strawberry popcorn’

Listen to learn more: Access a short narrative here.

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