What is the Difference between Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons

Monocotyledons vs. Dicotyledons

There are some differences between monocotyledons and dicotyledons. The main and most important difference is that the monocotyledons consist of seeds that only have a piece/part such as, for example, corn, while the dicotyledons can be divided into two, such as the pea.

Difference between Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons

Another important difference is that while the monocotyledons flowers have petals in multiples of three, in the case of the dicotyledons they are in multiples of four or five.

Then as far as the leaves are concerned, the monocotyledons exhibit parallel veins whereas in the dicotyledons they have reticulated veins.

There are other different characteristics that distinguish these two types.

As an example, we put the case of the embryo. As the name suggests and one would imagine, an embryo in a monocot has a single cotyledon while the embryo of a dicot has two cotyledons.

So in the case of monocotyledons, the pollen is a single pore or channel, while in the case of the dicotyledons it has three channels or pores.

Monocots Vs Dicots

In the case of monocotyledons, the bundle of vascular stems is disseminated while in the case of dicotyledons they are in a ring.

The roots are injured in the case of monocotyledons, while the roots develop radically when referring to the dicotyledons.

Another characteristic that distinguishes the monocotyledons from the dicotyledons,

in the case of the former is that the secondary growth is absent while in the case of the dicotyledons it is sometimes present.

If one were to see the etymological differences in the number of cotyledons found in embryos,

it is the origin of the names monocotyledons (meaning a cotyledon) and dicotyledons (meaning two cotyledons).

As mentioned earlier, monocotyledons are herbaceous with long, thin leaves with parallel veins. While the dicotyledons can be both; herbaceous (tomato plant) or woody (walnut)

The monocotyledons include among them, palms, turf, onions, and lilacs. Dicots, among others, consist of oaks, mustards, cactus, blueberries, and also sunflowers.

The dicotyledons are more diverse and consist of numerous species (more than 170,000 and more) compared with the monocotyledons (65,000 and more).

The differences between the two categories of plants have always been obvious to humans, but they were categorized that way around the year of 370 BC, by Theophrastus.

The terms dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous were coined by Jhon Ray in 1682 in his work Methodos Plantarum Nova.

Although we have explained the differences between these two classes, it does not apply that all plants can be categorized in these two classes.

For example, there are monocotyledons that could present characteristics that are of the dicotyledons, but this classification system has been used in the last centuries and it seems it will continue to be used in the future.

In Summary:

  • The monocotyledons are simple seeds while the dicotyledons are seeds that can be divided into two parts.
  • The flowers of the monocotyledons have petals in multiples of three while the dicotyledons have flowers in multiples of 4 or 5.
  • Vascular vessel bundles are scattered in the case of monocotyledons while in the dicotyledons they are in rings.

Comparison Table

MonocotyledonDicotyledon
Embryos have a single cotyledonEmbryos have a pair of cotyledons
Monocots have a fibrous root system Dicots have a tap root system
Monocot leaves have parallel venationDicots Leaves have reticulate venation
In monocot flowers, the count of parts of the flower is a multiple of 3 or equal to 3The count of parts in a dicot flower is a multiple of 4 or 5 or equal to 4 or 5
Monocot roots and stems don’t have cambium hence can’t raise the diameter Dicot roots and stems have cambium hence have the ability to increase the diameter
Examples of monocotyledons are corn, garlic, onions, wheat, and grassExamples of dicots are apples, pears, beans, and cauliflower.