Flowering plants or angiosperms

Flowering plants or angiosperms are classified into two groups: They are

  1. Monocotyledonous or monocots
  2. Dicotyledonous or in short dicots.

We must analyze 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 with the seed.

What is Cotyledons?

You may have observed that while some seeds can easily be split into two seed lobes, others cannot.

Seed leaves are the name for these seed lobes. Cotyledon is another name for it.

Seeds with two cotyledons or seed leaves are called dicot seeds

Some seeds have only one seed leaf, making it impossible to separate them into two seed lobes. These types of seeds are called monocot seeds.

Structural Differences between Monocot and Dicot


When you observe nature, you may see plants with branches. Dicots can be identified by their branched stems. The stems of monocot plants are not branched.

Venation patterns

Leaf venation refers to how the veinlets are arranged in the leaf. In plants, there are primarily two venation patterns. The patterns are reticulate venation and parallel venation.

This leaf has branches that initiated from the midrib and spread as a web. This is reticulate venation. It can be seen in dicot plants. When veinlets are parallel to the midrib, we call it a monocot plant.

Number of petals in flowers

Dicot plants bear Three petals or multiples of three. Whereas, monocot plants have Four or Five petals or multiples of four or five

Root system

Plants with a tap root system can be used to separate dicot plants from monocot plants. This is because dicot plants have a tap root system but monocot plants have a fibrous root system.

Now you can use this knowledge to identify plants in your garden and your surroundings.

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Anuradhika Lakmali

Anuradhika Lakmali is a co-founder of Science A Plus learning network. She is working as a government teacher and has interest in chemistry, biology, phisics and self development.