A leaf is a lateral attachment to the plant stem which supports the main function of photosynthesis. It is an important structure of the plant in charge of feeding.
In Botany, the plants are classified based on various aspects.
Cotyledon is the first significant part of the embryo to emerge from the seed and is formed during the process of embryogenesis along with its roots and shoots before germination. When the seed germinates, cotyledon becomes the embryonic first leaves of a seedling. Considering the number of cotyledons in flowering plants, they can be classified as Monocotyledonous or Monocots (species of plants with single cotyledon or embryonic leaves) and Dicotyledonous or Dicots (species of plant with two cotyledons). Apart from being different in the number of cotyledons, monocots and dicots exhibit various other characteristics of stem, roots, flower parts that distinguish them from each other.
Monocotyledons or Monocots are flowering plants with seeds having a single cotyledon or embryonic leaf. There are about 60000 species of monocots found worldwide. Monocot leaves are slender and elongated with parallel veins. Compared to other forms of veins, in parallel venation, the veins are small in size with even smaller veins connecting them.
Monocots have flower parts in sets of three. Their roots are fibrous. A few examples of Monocots are Bananas, Palm trees, Grasses, water plantains, Lilies and Orchids.
Dicotyledons or Dicots are flowering plants with seeds having two cotyledons or embryonic leaves. There are 175000 known species of dicots.
The leaves of a dicot plant have veins distributed in a net-like or reticulated pattern. In such leaves, the veins appear like a finely branched network throughout the leaf blade with thin veins reticulating between the major veins.
The flower parts in Dicots are tetramerous or pentamerous i.e in multiples of four or five. Dicots have a tap root system with a long deep primary root growing into finer secondary branches.
Some examples for the Dicots are Oaks, Elms, Maples, Mango, Papaya, Radish, Rose, Castor and Guava.
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1. What are the characteristics of a monocot plant?
Below is the characteristics of monocot plants:
The monocot plants have embryo with a single cotyledon
The flower parts are in multiples of three
Secondary growth is absent in a monocot plant
The vascular bundles of the stem are scattered
The roots in a monocot plant are adventitious
2. What is cotyledon?
A cotyledon is a very important part of an embryo that is inside the seed of the plant. It is also defined as an embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants, one or more among which are the first to appear from a germinating seed. Amongst the flowering plants, the number of cotyledons present is one of the characteristics that is used in classification.
3. Is coconut tree monocot?
The coconut palm does not have any bark, secondary growth or branches. Therefore, botanically, it is not a tree. It is a woody perennial monocotyledon in which the trunk is its stem. Today, it is classified under monotypic with one species named Nucifera.