Is there a point to corn silk?

You know, that stuff that makes husking corn a PITA. Is it there for a good reason or is it the corn equivalent of an appendix?

While I’m at it, what’s up with the corn that has nice orderly rows for most of the ear but all of a sudden has some mutant screwed up part with kernels all over the place?

The silk is how the corn pollen combines to form a kernal. without the silk, you’d have no kernals (each kernal has its own thread of silk, BTW).

The silk is the pistil (I think) of the “flower”

Yes, the silk is the very elongated pistil of the corn flower. If you look carefully, you will see that every strand connects to a different kernel. The top of the strand sticks out of the top of the husk, where it can receive the pollen grain. When a pollen grain lands on the silk strand, a tube grows down it allowing the kernel to be fertilized. Without corn silk, the corn kernels would never develop.

Yep, corn silk is one honkin’ sex organ for the corn plant. And considering this sex organ is as long as the corn itself… woof!

Besides, without corn silk, how would we be able to describe the hair on country girls?

I thought it was so you could eat corn and floss your teeth at the same time.