The seed in the plant having one cotyledon is called as the monocotyledon, while the seed in the plant having two cotyledons is named as the dicotyledon. Ginger, banana, wheat, maize, palm, onion, garlic are few examples of monocotyledonous plants, while rose, groundnut, potato, tomato, pea, eucalyptus, hibiscus are the examples of dicotyledonous plants.
Knowing the family of a plant is useful in many ways, as it helps us to know many factors about plant and how will it germinate, what kind of seed it is and what are the requirements of it to grow, etc. Among the various family of plants, monocots and dicots belong to the most diversified and occupied family which are Angiosperms.
Angiosperms consist of flowering plants, trees, shrubs, and herbs. There are around 2,50,000 species known of this family. Keeping the ground of the embryo hold by the seed, angiosperms are distinguished in two parts – monocots and dicots. In 1682, John Ray was the first person to give this taxonomic name, later a French Botanist Antonie Laurent de Jussieu popularized this system in 1789.
The cotyledon is the ‘first seed leaf‘, present within the embryo, though it is not the true leaf. If it is a single seed leaf, it is categorised as monocots and if it is the pair of leaves then termed as dicots. But this is not only the point to distinguish them, rather there are other noticeable points too, which are further discussed in this article.
Content: Monocots Vs Dicots
|Basis for Comparison||Monocots||Dicots|
|Meaning||Plants with the seed having only one cotyledon are called as monocots, and the plant is called as monocotyledons.||Plants with the seed having two cotyledons are called as dicots and plant is called as dicotyledons.|
|Embryo||Contains one cotyledon.||Contains two cotyledons.|
|Flower parts||The flower parts are present in multiples of three.||The flower parts are present in multiples of four or five.|
|Pollen||Pollen tube contain single pore or furrow (monocolpate).||Pollen tube has three or more pore or furrow (tricolpate).|
|Leaves||The venation of the leaf is parallel.||There is the net-like or intersecting type of venation present in the leaf.|
|Leaves are isobilateral.||Leaves are dorsiventral.|
|Monocots have stomata on both upper as well as on lower surface of their leaves and so-called as amphistomatous.||Dicots have stomata only on one surface of their leaves and so-called as epistomatous.
|Roots||Adventitious or fibrous roots - with many branches.||Radicle or tap roots - with long thick root.|
|Stem||Vascular bundles in stems are scattered throughout.||Vascular bundles in stems are arranged in a ring-like pattern.|
|Secondary growth||Absent, cambium absent.||Present, cambium present.|
|Woody/Herbaceous||Monocots are herbaceous.||Dicots are both woody as well herbaceous.|
|Examples||Sugarcane, banana tree, grass, daffodils, palm, ginger, grains which include wheat, rice, corn, millets.||Mint, lettuce, tomato, legumes which include beans, lentils, pea and peanuts.|
Definition of Monocots
As the name suggests ‘mono‘ means single and ‘cotyledon‘ means the first single leaf produced by the seed of the growing plant. The monocots cover approximately 60,000 species of the total angiosperms. This monophyletic group has created a larger group of plants like onion, garlic, bamboo, sugarcane, wheat, rice, grasses, palm trees, lilies, orchids, bananas, etc.
There are few though essential features due to which they are named as monocots or monocotyledons. Like first and foremost feature is the embryo, which has one single leaf or cotyledon, containing all the essential molecules for the growing plant. Secondly, they differ in the flower petal arrangement which is in multiples of three, like 3’s, 6’s.
The leaf venation is also parallel, the roots are the adventitious type, and they are herbaceous (containing soft stems). They do not have secondary growth, which means they cannot increase their diameter and produce woods.
Definition of Dicots
In contrast to the monocots, the dicots can be defined as the plants containing two or a pair of first leaves (embryonic leaves), produced by the seeds of the growing plants. They cover around 200,000 species of the total angiosperms. Oaktree, daisies, roses, cacti, legumes, carrot, peas, soybeans, cauliflower, cabbage, and such other plants are covered under this group.
The embryo contains a pair of leaves, though they are not real leaves but have all the essential nutrients for the growing plants. They have the flower arrangement in multiples of four or five.
Dicots have the reticulate venation or net-like arrangement in their leaves, this arrangement is responsible for transport of materials like carbohydrates and water in whole plants. Taproot system is present, which has one thick branch buried deep in the soil to gain nutrients and water for the plants.
As these are herbaceous as well as woody, so the stem shows secondary growth and produce woods.
Key Differences Between Monocots and Dicots
Following are the substantial characters to distinguish between the two types of angiosperms:
- Monocots can be defined as the plants with the seed having only one cotyledon, and the plant is called as monocotyledons, while plants with the seed having two cotyledons are called as dicots, and the plant is called as dicotyledons.
- In monocots the embryo has only one cotyledon, the pollen tube contain single pore or furrow (monocolpate), whereas in dicots the embryo has two cotyledons and the pollen tube have three or more pore or furrow (tricolpate).
- The flower parts are present in multiples of three in the monocotyledons, even the secondary growth and cambium is absent, but in dicots, the flower parts are present in multiples of four or five, even secondary growth and cambium is present.
- Another distinguishable feature is their roots which are adventitious or fibrous type in the monocots, while in the dicots they are radicle or tap root type.
- The isobilateral leaves of monocots show parallel venation and the stomata is present on both upper as well as on lower surface (amphistomatous). The leaves of the dicots are dorsiventral and show reticulate or net-like venation, and the stomata are present on one surface of the leaves (epistomatous). The vascular bundles in stems are scattered throughout, in monocots, though it is arranged in a ring-like pattern in dicots.
- Monocots are herbaceous, which means they have a soft, green stem and are not woody, whereas dicots are both woody as well herbaceous.
- Sugarcane, banana tree, grass, daffodils, palm, ginger, grains which include wheat, rice, corn, millets are examples of monocots. Mint, lettuce, rose, tomato, legumes which include beans, lentils, pea and peanuts are examples of dicots.
In the above article, we came to know about the various distinguishable features of the two subparts of the angiosperms, which are monocots and the dicots. These studies will be helpful to know about the plants and their varieties in a much better way.