Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons, Biology tutorial

Differences between Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons

The history behind the classes:

Usually, the flowering plants have been classified into two main groups or classes: The Monocots (Liliopsida) and the Dicots (Magnoliopsida). Most of the people take this separation into two groups for granted, as it is plainly apparent; however botanists have not for all time accepted these as the two basic groups of angiosperms. However, Theophrastus (circa 370 BC) is credited by first recognizing differences among the two groups, categorization of plants was overall depends on the form: trees, herbs, vines - till 1600s.

In the year 1682, John Ray published his Methodus Plantarum Nova, in which Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons were at first given formal taxonomic standing. This system was popularized through the French botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in his Genera Plantarum of 1789, a work that is enhanced and gradually substituted, the system of plant categorization devised by Linnaeus.


Monocots or Monocotyledons are a class of angiosperm and flowering plant, differentiated from Dicots. The dissimilarity was first recognized by botanist John Ray in year 1682. Scientists nowadays don't consider Ray's explanation ideal; though monocots are still the most widely known categorization of angiosperms. The word Monocots and Dicots are short for the longer names Monocotyledon and Dicotyledons, that refer to the number of cotyledons, or 'seed leaves', in the plant's embryo; one and two, correspondingly.

Monocots are very different from Dicots by their physical features. Moreover to having a single cotyledon in their embryo, they as well trait pollen having a single furrow or pore, while Dicots pollen consist of three furrows. The other traits or features of Monocots are simpler for the casual spectator to recognize.

Maybe the easiest way to differentiate monocots from Dicots is by counting the flower parts. Petals, stamens etc tend to come out in multiples of three on monocots, whereas Dicots flowers tend to encompass parts divisible by four or five. Whereas this is at times the simplest manner to figure out what kind of angiosperm you are dealing with, it is not for all time reliable and might be hard to find out in plants with elaborate flowers having many parts.


Dicots or Dicotyledons is a flowering plant by two embryonic seed leaves, instead of the single embryonic seed leaf related with monocots. Embryonic seed leaves, as well termed as cotyledons, are a significant part of plant growth and Monocots and Dicots build up in different ways right from the very begin This kind of plant might as well be termed to as Magnoliopsida, referencing the group to which they fit in.

The word is in reality a shortening of Dicotyledons, the appropriate term for plants in this group. As "Dicotyledons" are a bit of a mouthful, most biologists shorten them. Both fit in to the bigger phylum of flowering plants, at times termed as angiosperms, with thousands of individual species all around the world.

The cotyledons are not the mere difference among Monocots and Dicots. Monocots contain energy reserves in their cotyledons which are employed to aid the plants growth, that is, a key difference in germination. The two encompass dissimilar pollen structures, having Dicots characteristically having three grooves in their pollen, instead of one. The flowers encompass petals in multiples of four and five, and their leaves encompass netted veins. This signifies that even after a plant matures, building it hard to recognize how many cotyledons it had, gardeners can still find out which kind it is.

Qualities which differentiates the classes:

In spite of the problems in identifying basal angiosperm taxa, the standard difference between Monocots and Dicots are still quite helpful. The list described below will reliably recognize a flowering plant as a Monocot or Dicots.

1) Number of cotyledons:

The count of cotyledons discover in the embryo is the real basis for differentiating the two groups of angiosperms and is the source of the names Monocotyledon (that is, one cotyledon) and Dicotyledons (that is, two cotyledons). The cotyledons are the seed-leaves formed by the embryo. They serve up to absorb nutrients packaged in the seed, till the seedling is capable to generate its first true leaves and start photosynthesis.

2) Pollen structure:

The primary angiosperms had pollen having a single furrow or pore via the outer layer (monosulcate). This characteristic is kept in the monocots; however most Dicots are go down from a plant that made three furrows or pores in its pollen (triporate).

3) Number of flower parts:

Whenever you count up the number of petals, stamens and other floral parts, you will discover that monocot flowers tend to encompass a number of portions that is divisible by three, generally three or six. Dicots flowers on the other hand, tend to encompass parts in multiples of four or five (four, five, ten and so on). This quality is not for all time reliable, though, and is not simple to make use of in some flowers with reduced or several parts.

3) Leaf veins:

In Monocots, there are generally a number of main leaf veins that run parallel to the length of leaf; while in Dicots, there are generally many auxiliary veins that reticulate among the main ones. As by the number of floral parts, this quality is not for all time reliable, as there are numerous monocots with reticulate venation, particularly the aroids and Dioscoreales.

4) Stem vascular arrangement:

Vascular tissue takes place in long strands termed as vascular bundles. Such bundles are arranged in the stem of Dicots to make a cylinder, appearing as a ring of spots if you cut across the stem. In Monocots, such bundles come out scattered via the stem, with more of the bundles situated toward the stem periphery than in the center. This display is exclusive to monocots and some of their nearest relatives amongst the Dicots.

5) Root development:

In most Dicots the root builds up from the lower end of the embryo, from an area termed as the radicle. The radicle gives mount to an apical meristem that carries on producing root tissue for much of the life of plant. On contrary, the radicle aborts in monocots, and new roots occur adventitiously from nodes in the stem. Such roots might be termed prop roots if they are clustered close to the bottom of the stem.

6) Secondary growth:

Most of the seed plants raise their diameter via secondary growth, generating wood and bark. Monocots and some Dicots encompass lost this capability and therefore don't produce wood. Some of the monocots can generate a substitute though, as in the agaves and palms.

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