Tassel Ears

Source P.Thomison, OSU

Source P.Thomison, OSU


Tassel and ear combined in the same structure. The ear portion of the tassel ear structure usually contains only a limited number of kernels. Tassel ears may appear on tillers (suckers) arising from plants with normal ears and tassels. These tassel ears are produced at a terminal position on the tiller where a tassel would normally appear.



Tassel ears are often produced by tillers (suckers) that result when the plant’s growing point is destroyed or injured by hail, wind (green snap), animal feeding, frost, flooding, herbicides, and mechanical injury before V6. Some hybrids may also be more prone to tiller under certain environmental conditions and these tillers may give rise to tassel ears. Low plant density may also promote tillering. Tassel ears are frequently observed along the edges of fields where early season soil compaction and saturated soil conditions may have contributed to this abnormal development.



Avoid excessively low seeding rates. Some hybrids are characterized by greater tillering especially under favorable early season growing conditions (but such tillering and tassel ear formation) does not affect crop yield.



Ciampitti, I.  2014.  Abnormal Corn Ears.  Available at https://www.agronomy.k-state.edu/extension/documents/crop-production/Abnormal_Corn_Ears.pdf [URL verified 10/8/2019].  Kansas State University.


Thomison, P. 2007. “Tassel Ears” in Corn. Ohio State University C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2007-27 (August 20, 2007-August 28, 2007). Available at http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletters/2007/27#5 [URL verified 10/8/2019].


Nielson, RL (Bob). 2019. Tassel-Ears in Corn. Corny News Network, Purdue University. [On-Line]. Available at http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/articles.04/TasselEars-0713.html [URL verified 10/8/19/2019].


Thomison, P.R. 1995. “Corn Growth and Development – Does Tillering Affect Hybrid Performance?” Ohio State University AGF-121-95.  Available at:  https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/agf-121 [URL verified 10/8/2019]