Monocots and dicots

The monocots are flowering plants whose seeds have one cotyledon and dicots are those flowering plants whose seeds have two cotyledons. A cotyledon is a leaf-like structure found in the seed, it is an embryonic leaf.

Within the plant kingdom, those seed plants are divided into gymnosperms and angiosperms. Angiosperms are the group of plants that have flowers, within which we get the monocots and dicots or eudicots.

DefinitionClass of plants whose seeds have a cotyledonClass of plant whose seeds have two cotyledons
Phylogenetic classLiliopsidaMagnoliopsida
Type of plantsHerbaceousAnnuals and trees
Seed germinationHypogeumEpigea o hipogea
LeavesSimple, isobilateral symmetry, parallel veinsSimple or complex, dorsiventral symmetry, reticulated veins
StemsSolid or hollowSolid
CámbiumAbsentHere I’m
Vascular bundlesScatteredConcentric
Root systemAdventitia, diameter does not varyDerivative, diameter increases in size
FloresNumber of petals equal to 3 or their multiplesNumber of petals equal to 4 or 5 or their multiples
ExamplesRice ( Oryza sativa ), corn ( Zea maiz ), banana or plantain ( Musa sp)grape ( Vitis vinifera ), frijoles ( Phaseolus sp.), mango ( Mangifera sp.)

What is a monocot?

A monocot is a class of flower-producing plant (class Liliopsida) whose seeds have a cotyledon. They are predominantly herbaceous.


Monocot seeds have a well-developed endosperm. Starch and proteins necessary for the initial growth of the plant are stored in the seed. Germination is hypogeal, that is, the cotyledon remains underground.

Monocotyledonous leaves

Monocot leaves are simple with isobilateral symmetry. They have parallel veins, smooth edges, and a long sheath, which covers the stem. The stomata are equally distributed on the surfaces of the leaves.

Root and stem

The main root is not developed and the root system is adventitious.

The stem can be hollow or full. Vascular bundles are scattered throughout the stem. The stems and roots do not have cambium and their diameter does not vary.


The flowers have a simple calyx with a multiple number of petals of three.

Examples of monocots

This class contains 25% of the flowering plants and is divided into the following subclasses:

  • Alismatidae,
  • Liliidae
  • Arecidae
  • Commelinidae

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

What is dicotyledonous?

The dicotyledon (class Magnoliopsida) is a class of flowering plants whose seeds have two lateral cotyledons.


In the seed starch, proteins and fats are stored, which are used for the initial growth of the plant. The germination of dicots is hypogeal or epigeal, that is, the cotyledons can be below or above the ground, respectively.

Dicotyledonous leaves

The leaves are simple or complex, with dorsoventral symmetry. They have reticulated veins, often with uneven, serrated, or sectioned edges. The stomata are on the lower surface of the leaves.

Roots and stem

Dicots have a secondary root system derived from a primary root.

The stems are solid. The vascular bundles in the stems are concentric. The stems and roots have cambium and their diameter can grow.


The number of flower petals is equal to or a multiple of four and five.

Examples of dicots

The Magnoliopsida class has six subclasses:

  • Magnoliidae,
  • Hamamelidae,
  • Caryophyllidae,
  • Rosidae,
  • dilleniidae,
  • Asteridae,

Some also include the subclasses Ranunculidae and Lamiidae .

The most important families are the Fabaceae (legumes), Lamiaceae (mint, lavender, oregano, rosemary), Rosaceae (rose, blackberry), Cucurbitaceae (pumpkin or squash, melon, cucumber) and Cactaceae (cactus).

You may also be interested in Angiosperm and Gymnosperm .

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *