|home | alphabetical index|
How to distinguish a monocot from a dicotMonocots and dicots are the two broad groups of flowering plants (Division Magnoliophyta). While it is generally easy to distinguish most dicots and monocots from one another, the basis for the split in classification is a characteristic of the developing embryo, a feature that is no longer observable on the adult plant unless one can access the internal structure of a seed. Therefore, the following characteristics can be applied in the absence of knowledge about the cotyledon. However, be mindful that no 'single' characteristic will absolutely distinguish a dicot from a monocot, other than by definition monocots have one cotyledon and dicots have two. In general, monocots are simpler in structure than dicots, although monocots evolved from dicots.
Partly as a consequence of the arrangement of the vascular tissue, in monocots, there is very little new phloem and xylem added to the stem. Thus, monocot stems do not grow significantly thicker each year. Any change in thickness is due to the cellss getting slightly larger. For this reason there are very few monocot trees (palmss being an important exception). On the other hand, dicot stems can add new vascular tissue and thus grow thicker with time. Most flowering trees are dicots.
Monocot roots grow from nodules on the stem, forming prop roots if close to the surface. In dicots, root growth is from the apical meristem, and often centered around a tap root.
|copyright © 2004 FactsAbout.com|