An ear is the grain-bearing tip part of the stem of a cereal plant, such as wheat or maize. It can also refer to "a prominent lobe in some leaves." The ear is a spike, consisting of a central stem on which tightly packed rows of flowers grow. These develop into fruits containing the edible seeds. In corn (maize), it is protected by leaves called husks. In some species (including wheat), unripe ears contribute significantly to photosynthesis, in addition to the leaves lower down the plant.
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