Monocot Vs. Dicot: What Are The Main Differences?

Whether you’ve been given an assignment about the difference between monocot and dicot plants or you simply have a dilemma with your friends, there are many things that separate the two plant groups, and we’ll talk about them below. But first, let’s have a look at both terms and see what they’re all about.




Monocots, or, by their scientific name, monocotyledons, are a flowering plant group whose members usually contain only one cotyledon or embryonic leaf. Monocots are divided into several taxonomic ranks and include approximately 60,000 species.

The beautiful orchids belong to the monocotyledons’ group, and so do grains, bananas, bamboos and various delicious spices used in Asian cuisine, such as turmeric, ginger and cardamom. Quite a fascinating and vastly varied family!

And here’s another fact you might find interesting: the name exists just to make the difference between monocot and dicot plants, having no other useful purpose from a diagnostic point of view.




Dicots, or dicotyledons, are, as you’ve surely figured out by now, flowering plants that have two cotyledons – or embryonic leaves – in their seeds. The group contains somewhere around 200,000 species. They usually have a taproot system, their stems typically spread to the outside, and their flowers have four or five petals.

Examples of dicots include mint, lettuce, legumes, daisies, tomatoes and even oaks.


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The Differences between Monocots and Dicots

Now that you know a bit more about the two main groups of flowering plants, let’s have a look at how dicots and monocots differ:



  • Monocots have just one cotyledon.
  • Dicots come with two embryonic leaves.
  • Monocots’ leaf veins typically have a parallel arrangement.
  • Dicotyledons’ leaf veins are generally branched (or reticulated).
  • Monocots present fibrous roots.
  • Taproot systems are usually present in dicots.
  • Monocot pollen usually has a single pore or furrow.
  • Dicot’s pollen has 3 pores or furrows.
  • Monocots are generally herbaceous flowering plants.
  • Dicots can be woody as well.
  • Monocots’ flowers are usually grouped in multiples of three.
  • Dicots usually have flowers with four or five petals.
  • Secondary growth doesn’t occur in monocots.
  • Secondary growth is present in woody dicot species, helping with the production of bark and wood.
  • There are only 60,000 – but quite different – species of monocotyledons.
  • There are over 200,000 species belonging to the dicot group.
  • There’s no cambium in monocots.
  • Here, cambium is present.
  • Seed germination in monocots is generally hypogeal.
  • In dicots, seed germination can be either epigeal or hypogeal.
  • Monocotyledons usually have hollow stems.
  • Dicots’ stems are solid in most cases.
  • The stem’s vascular bundles in monocots are abundant and scattered.
  • The vascular bundles in the dicots’ stems are less numerous and come in a circular arrangement.


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