Dicots and monocots

In the wonderful world of plants, monocots are those flowering plants that have a cotyledon; and, on the other hand, dicotyledons are those flowering plants whose seeds have two cotyledons. The cotyledon is essentially a structure found inside the seed, an embryonic leaf.

And the above relates to the fact that seed plants are divided into gymnosperms and angiosperms. Angiosperms are those that have flowers, where monocots and dicots are found.

DefinitionClass of plants whose seeds have a cotyledon.Class of plants whose seed has two cotyledons.
Phylogenetic classLiliopsida.Magnoliopsida.
Type of plantsHerbaceous.Trees and shrubs.
Seed germinationHypogeum.Epigea o Hipogea.
LeavesSimple, isobilateral symmetry, parallel veins.Simple or complex, dorsoventral symmetry, reticulated veins.
StemsSolid or hollow.Solid
Vascular bundles and cambiumYou make scattered and cambium absent.Concentric beams and cambium present.
Root system and flowersAdventitia, diameter does not vary. Number of petals equal to 3 or its multiples.Derivative, diameter increases in size. Number of petals equal to 4 or 5 and their multiples.
ExamplesRice, corn, banana or plantains.Grape, beans, mango, pumpkin, melon.

Monocots and dicots have such marked differences that botanists call them two natural groups; that is, you can tell what kind a plant is almost at a glance. For example, when observing their stem, the former lose their ability to grow in thickness unlike the latter; or the former are herbaceous plants and the latter also, but in the latter trees and shrubs predominate. Likewise, in monocots the conducting vessels are arranged randomly along the stem; in dicots they are arranged in concentric rings on the stem.

What is a monocot?

A monocot is a class of plants that produces flowers whose seeds have only one cotyledon. As we have already said, its predominance is herbaceous and the flower class is Liliopsida.

As for its seed, monocots have a well-developed endosperm (nutritional tissue formed in the embryo sac of seed plants). Indeed, the seed stores starch and proteins that are extremely useful for the initial growth of the plant. Finally, its germination is hypogeal (the embryo swells and the seed coat breaks) because the cotyledon remains underground.

Leaves, root and stems

Monocot leaves are simple with isobilateral symmetry. They have parallel candles, smooth edges and a long sheath, which precisely covers the stem. The stomata are equally distributed on the surfaces of the leaves. On the other hand, regarding the root, the main one is not developed and the root system is adventitious. The stem, finally, can be hollow or full. The vascular bundles are scattered throughout the stem. It is important to remember that both roots and stems do not have cambium and their diameter does not vary.

Flowers and examples

The flowers usually have three sepals and petals, or a multiple of three (a simple calyx for botanists). This class contains 25 percent flowering plants and can be divided into the following subclasses.

  • Alismatidae.
  • Liliidae.
  • Arecidae.
  • Commelinidae.

The most important families are Poaceae (rice, oats, wheat), Liliaceae (onion, garlic, tulips), Bromeliaceae (bromeliads and pineapples), Orchidaceae (orchids), Iridaceae (crocuses, gladioli and iris).

What is a dicot?

The dicot is a class of flowering plants whose seeds have two lateral cotyledons. Many are herbaceous, but both trees and shrubs predominate. The class is Magnoliopsida.

Regarding its seed, it stores starch, proteins and fats, which are used for the initial growth of the plant. Germination, in a different way, can be both hypogeal and epigeal, that is, the cotyledons are below or above the ground.

Leaves, root and stems

The leaves are simple or complex, with dorsoventral symmetry. They have reticulated veins, often with uneven, serrated, or sectioned edges. The stomata, as for the epidermis of the same plant, are found on the lower surface of the leaves. On the other hand, the root has a secondary system derived from the primary and the stems are solid. The vascular bundles in the stems are concentric. Finally, both stems and roots have cambium, so their diameter can grow.

Flowers and examples

The types of flowers found in this class have four or five petals, or multiple of four or five. Likewise, the Magnoliopsida class has different subclasses.

  • Magnoliidae.
  • Hamamelidae.
  • Caryophyllidae.
  • Rosidae.
  • Dilleniidae.
  • Asteridae.

It can include other subspecies such as Ranunculidae and Lamiidae. Likewise, the most important families are the Fabaceae (legumes), Lamiaceae (mint, lavender, oregano, rosemary), Rosaceae (rose, blackberry), Cucurbitaceae (pumpkin, melon, cucumber) and Cactaceae (cactus).

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