Every living thing undergoes certain stages in the life cycle. Each stage in the life cycle serves an essential purpose in bringing a key product into existence and in the continuity of life itself.
Plants also do the same. Plants are generally divided into two groups: Flowering plants and Non-flowering plants.
Flowering plants are those plants which produce flowers to reproduce. Non-flowering plants are those which do not produce flowers during their life cycle and rely on spores for reproduction.
Flowering plants are also called angiosperms. We all love flowers due to their attractive colours and beautiful smell.
But how do these flowers reproduce?
Flowers produce seeds through the process of pollination. Pollination is a process in which pollen grains from the male part of the flower are transferred to the female ovary.
The seeds then germinate from the ground, and under specific conditions of sunlight, food, and water; they produce roots, leaves, stems and flowers. And the life cycle repeats.
If we divide them further based on the structure of their seeds, there are two groups. One is called monocotyledons or monocots, and the other is called dicotyledons or dicots.
- Monocot plants have one cotyledon (seed leaf) in their seeds, while dicot plants have two cotyledons.
- Monocot plants exhibit parallel leaf veins, fibrous root systems, and floral parts in multiples of three, whereas dicot plants show branching leaf veins, taproot systems, and floral parts in multiples of four or five.
- Examples of monocots include grasses, lilies, and corn, while dicots include beans, roses, and sunflowers.
Monocot vs Dicot
The difference between monocots and dicots is that monocots have one cotyledon while dicots have two. Cotyledon is part of the embryo within the seed that acts as an initial energy source for the plant. The cotyledon of a monocot seed is relatively thin and does not contain sufficient food material, while the cotyledons in a dicot are fleshy and contain the required nutrients.
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The other differences between monocot and dicot seeds lie in their leaves, flowers, stems, and roots.
|Parameter of Comparison||Monocot||Dicot|
|Definition||Plants with seeds having only one cotyledon are called monocots.||Plants with seeds having two cotyledons are called dicots.|
|Leaves||The veins of the leaf of monocot seed plants are parallel.||The veins of the leaf of dicot seed plants have a net-like structure.|
|Flowers||Flowers are present in multiples of three.||Flowers are present in multiples of four or five.|
|Stem||Vascular bundles are scattered.||Vascular bundles are in a ring-like pattern.|
|Roots||Fibrous root-like structure.||Tap root-like structure.|
|Examples||Corn, wheat, rice, sugarcane, banana tree||Mango, orange, tomato, beans, pea|
What is Monocot?
Monocot is a type of flowering plant in which seeds have only one cotyledon.
The endosperm, which is the tissue inside the seed, is bulky in monocots and acts as the main supply of food for the seed. But the endosperm resides separately from the cotyledon inside the seed.
Apart from the seed structure, monocots have long, narrow leaves with parallel venation. You would find a similar pattern on corn, wheat and rice leaves.
By the number of flower petals and parts, you can tell if a flowering plant is a monocot or dicot. Monocots usually have petals and organs in multiples of 3.
Monocot stems tend to have vascular bundles scattered throughout the stem tissue. They are also arranged towards the outer edge of the stem.
Vascular bundles are like nutrient carriers that carry food and water to the stem.
If you dig a monocot seed plant and have a look at its roots, you will find out that its roots are adventitious, which means the roots arise from parts of the plant other than just the roots, for example, the stem.
The roots are more petite, thin and thread-like, so they are called fibrous roots. The adventitious (or fibrous) roots do not penetrate in soil profoundly, and so they are considered a fit species to prevent soil erosion.
What is Dicot?
Dicot is a type of flowering plant in which seeds have two cotyledons.
The endosperm of dicot seeds exist inside the cotyledon and are responsible for transferring nutrients to seedlings via cotyledons.
The leaves of the dicot seed plant are usually round in shape and have branched or reticulated veins. Similar patterns can be seen on the leaves of oranges, mango or peas.
The dicots tend to have flower parts in multiples of four or five.
Dicot stems also have a distinct shape. Their vascular bundles are arranged in a ring-like format.
They have a taproot system. That means dicots have a single dominant root from which other small roots germinate laterally.
The roots are dug deeper into the soil and continue to make branches under the ground.
Main Differences Between Monocot and Dicot
The five distinct features that help us to identify the difference between monocots and dicots are listed below:
- Monocot plants have a single cotyledon inside the seed embryo, while dicot plants have two cotyledons inside the seed embryo.
- Monocots have leaves with parallel venation, while dicots have leaves with branched venation.
- Monocot seed plants tend to have flower parts in multiples of three, while dicots have flower parts in multiples of four or five.
- Monocots have stems in which vascular tissue bundles are scattered, whereas dicots have stems in which vascular bundles are arranged in rings.
- The roots of monocot plants are fibrous or adventitious, whereas the roots of dicot plants have a taproot system.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.