This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
At the Cincinnati Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Beal presented a paper on "The Movements of Roots in Germinating Indian Corn, of which the following is an abstract: "Mr. C. Darwin in his last book says, 'In whatever direction the primary radicle (or root) first protrudes from the seed, geotropism (or the attraction of the earth) guides it perpendicularly downwards.'
"Dr. Beal studied over 400 kernels of sprouting corn, of seven or more varieties. These, after starting a little, were pinned fast to a stick and put in a dark place, over water. Most of the roots went obliquely downwards, many making one or more coils on the way, while some went off horizontally; some went upwards, directly or indirectly. One of those which went upwards made two coils, another made three. All the experiments did not coincide with those of Darwin".