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Difference between Monocots and Dicots

Angiosperms, which are known as flowering plants, are divided into two separate groups: Monocots and Dicots. Though both are flowering plants, they differ from each other in their basic composition. The basis for the classification of angiosperms into monocots and dicots is the number of cotyledons present in these two groups of plants. The seed of monocots has one cotyledon, whereas seed of dicots has two cotyledons. A cotyledon is the central portion of the seed embryo which has epicotyls (immature shoot) and radical (immature root). Let us see how monocots differ from dicots.


Monocots, which are also known as monocotyledons, refer to the flowering plants which have only one seed leaf or embryonic leaf (cotyledon) inside the seed coat. A cotyledon is the first green blade which emerges from the seed upon germination. It contains the sugars and other nutrients required for the growth until the leaf is able to make food through photosynthesis.

Monocots comprise around 67000 species which accounts for one-quarter of the all flowering plants. They include grass family (Poaceae), orchid family (Orchidaceae), sedge family (Cyperaceae) as well as palms, lilies and more. In addition to single cotyledon, some other characteristic features of monocots include an arrangement of vascular tissues in the stem. The vascular bundles of monocots are scattered throughout the stem, they are not arranged in rings around the periphery of the stem as in dicots. Some common examples of dicots that we usually see around are as follows:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Rice
  • Asparagus
  • Sugarcane
  • Grass etc.


Dicots, which are also known as dicotyledons, refer to the flowering plants which have two seed leaves or embryonic leaves (cotyledons) inside the seed coat. In other words, plants with two cotyledons in their embryo are termed as dicots or dicotyledons. Most of the plants that we see around are dicots. There are around 199,350 different species of dicots which include different families such as Myrtaceae, Asteraceae, Proteaceae, Leguminosae and more. In addition to two cotyledons, dicots have various other characteristic features such as vascular bundles are arranged in circular rings around the periphery of the stem, fibrous and branded roots, veins in the leaves form a branched pattern, etc. Some common examples of dicots that we usually see around are as follows:

  • Rose
  • Marigold
  • Sunflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Grapes etc.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between monocots and dicots are as follows:

Monocots Dicots
They have single embryonic leaf (single cotyledon). They have two embryonic leaves (two cotyledons).
Flowers are trimerous, i.e. they are divided into 3 parts or components. Flowers are tetramerous or pentamerous.
Vascular bundles are scattered throughout the stem. Vascular bundles are arranged in rings or concentric circles around the periphery of the stem.
The roots do not develop form the radical so they are called adventitious roots. The roots develop from the radical.
Pollen grain has only one pore. 3 pores are present in a single pollen grain.
Leaves have parallel venation, e.g. long and thin parallel veins. Leaves have reticulate or branched venation, e.g. branched veins.
Leaf is sessile which means it lacks stalk, directly attached by its base. Leaf has a stalk, attached by its stalk.
They generally have a weak stem. They generally have a strong stem.
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