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Difference Between Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon

Last updated date: 18th Jul 2024
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Characteristics of Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon

In order to understand the difference between Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon, one must be aware of cotyledon and its role in the growth of plant. Then we can explain monocotyledon and dicotyledon. 

Meaning of Cotyledon

A cotyledon, which is an important component of the plant embryo inside the seed, is referred to as the embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants, a few of which are the first to emerge from a germination seed. One feature used by botanists to categorize blooming plants (angiosperms) is the number of cotyledons that are present. Monocotyledonous (monocots) refers to species with just one cotyledon. Dicotyledonous (dicots) plants are those with two embryonic leaves.

Cotyledon Versus True Leaves

When it comes to function, the cotyledons of dicot seedlings that are photosynthetic are comparable to leaves. However, the development of genuine leaves and cotyledons differs. The root and shoot meristems, as well as cotyledons, are generated during embryogenesis and are thus present in the seed before germination. True leaves, on the other hand, develop post-embryonically (that is, after germination) from the shoot apical meristem, which also produces aerial parts of the plant.

What is Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon?

Monocotyledon: Monocots are plants that, as their name suggests, have just one cotyledon, or embryonic leaf, in their seeds. This monophyletic group, which makes up the majority of our agricultural biomass, includes a number of significant staple crops, such as rice, wheat, corn, sugar cane, bamboo, onion, and garlic.

Characteristics of Monocotyledon

A group of angiosperms known as monocots exhibit the following traits.

  • Single-cotyledon (embryonic leaf) seeds

  • Leaves with parallel veins

  • Scattered vascular bundles without the normal cambium in the stem

  • A system of adventitious roots containing vascular bundles, endodermis, pericycles, and epidermis

  • Flowers with multiples of three flower sections and pollen grains with a single aperture

  • Absence of stomata and epidermal hairs in the stem

  • A stem with a sclerenchymatous hypodermis

  • A single carpel reproductive system or an ovary with united carpels

Dicotyledon: The dicotyledons, usually referred to as dicots or, less frequently, dicotyls, are one of the two subgroups into which all flowering plants (angiosperms) were historically subdivided. The name relates to the fact that the seed bears two embryonic leaves, or cotyledons, which is one of the group's defining traits. This category contains over 200,000 species.

Characteristics of Dicotyledon

Dicots are recognized by the presence of 

  • Dicots are distinguished by having two (di-) cotyledons in the seed and two embryonic leaves sprouting from the cotyledons.

  • Various in size, shape, texture, and structure, seed pods. 

  • Dicot seed pods can have virtually any number of chambers, including zero.

  • A dicot has a total of four or five or more bloom components.

  • Dicot seeds sprout to form two seed leaves.

  • Larger veins in mature dicots leave branches out into numerous smaller veins.

Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon Difference







The embryos that are monocotyledonous only have one cotyledon.

The embryos that are dicotyledonous have two cotyledons.


Root System

They have roots that are fibrous.

They are tap-root plants.



Monocot leaves feature parallel venation.

Dicot leaves feature net or reticulate venation.



Monocotyledons' roots and stems lack a cambium and are unable to grow in diameter.

Dicotyledons' roots and stems have cambium and the capacity to enlarge in diameter.



The number of floral components in monocot flowers is a multiple of three or equal to three.

Dicot flowers have a multiple of four or five components that are at least equal to four or five.



Garlic, onions, wheat, maize, and grass are a few monocotyledons.

Beans, cauliflower, apples, and pears are just a few examples of dicots.


We must analyse the many structural characteristics of angiosperms, such as roots, stems, leaves, and flowers, in order to distinguish between monocots and dicots. However, the differences between monocots and dicots start at the seed, which is where a plant's life cycle begins. The term "cotyledon" describes the "first seed leaf" that exists in the embryo. If there is just one seed leaf, the plant is classified as a monocot, and if there are two leaves, it is classified as a dicot. Each plant produces large variations as a result of this tiny variance at the start of its life cycle. In this way, the article aims to explain Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon.

FAQs on Difference Between Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon

1. What are the characteristics of Monocotyledons?

More than 75,000 species of flowering plants belong to the monocotyledon plant class. They tend to be mostly herbaceous. The term "class" refers to a seed form that has one cotyledon at a terminal position. Endosperm is fully established in monocotyledon seeds. Starch and proteins, which are essential for the plant's early development, are often stored there. Normal monocotyledon seed germination is hypogeal. Simple, isobilateral symmetric leaves are seen on monocotyledons. They have lengthy sheaths that mainly round the stem and feature straight veins, smooth margins, and long sheaths. Both leaf surfaces have an equal distribution of stomata.

2. What are the characteristics of Dicotyledons?

Dicotyledons (Magnoliopsida), a group of flowering plants that includes more than 175,000 species of plants from annuals to trees, are classified as flowering plants. The dicotyledons vary from other plant species in that each seed has two lateral cotyledons. Before photosynthesis begins, the plant uses the starch, lipids, or proteins stored in the cotyledons to grow. Hypogeal or epigeal germination occurs in dicotyledon seeds. The leaves feature dorsiventral symmetry, simple or complex. They frequently have jagged or dissected margins with a net-like or reticulate venation. On the underside of the leaves, the stomata are present.  The Taproot system is present in dicotyledons.

3. What is Monocotyledon and Dicotyledon?

The term "monocotyledon" refers to a plant whose seeds have just one cotyledon, whereas the term "dicotyledon" refers to a plant whose seeds have two cotyledons. Wheat, maize, palm, ginger, banana, onion, and garlic are monocotyledon plants, whereas potato, tomato, pea, rose, groundnut, eucalyptus, and hibiscus are dicotyledon plants. Dicotyledon stems are made of solid tissue. The stems' vascular bundles are arranged (concentrically) in rings and are smaller than those of monocotyledons. Dicot plants include, among others, carrots, almonds, peas, radishes, bell pepper, and so on.