Is this normal, or have I done something very wrong?
That's the male flower - it will soon develop pollen. Further down on the stem the beginnings of a cob or two will form and you'll see silky tassels emerging from the top of the cob. They are the female flower.
When the breeze blows the pollen from the male flowers will fall onto the tassels of the female flowers - this will fertilize the female flowers and produce your lovely juicy cob. When the silky tassels have turned dark brown (looking a bit like loose tobacco) your corn on the cob is ready to eat
By the way, they need plenty of water at this stage - keep the soil nice and moist.
Thanks very much. Appreciated.
i am a first time corn grower , i thought mine had gone wrong as well.now i know better............
let nature do her work,no need to interveen.............
Just an interesting fact for you: Every single kernel on each cob sends its own tassel up to the top of the cob which is why there are so many. A grain of pollen must fall onto each tassel otherwise the individual kernel connected to that tassel will not develop and is why you sometimes see this:
Nature is amazing and it's sometimes not obvious why things like this evolve the way they have!
That is quite amazing Bob
Thanks Bob, we live and learn
Hi, John, you aren't doing anything wrong, your sweet corn is way ahead of mine. I tried a mini pop variety this year on account it would mature earlier... I don't think so, it's about 3ft-4ft high with no sign of flowers yet.