Difference Between Monocot and Dicot


Primary Difference

There are hundreds and thousands of different plants which exist in the world and categorizing them was a difficult task. Scientists were able to do that after a lot of careful analysis and ended up putting various types of plants in two classes. These were known as Dicots and Monocots. The basic explanation of them will be that they are the two major groups of flowering plants. Although these are meant to be opposite to each other since different plants are in these groups, there hasn’t always been consensus on that and people, tend to mix these two types. Some of the differences between them are evident which are described in this space. The main difference between them is the definition which for dicots state that they are plants which have two embryo leaves in their seeds, which is also known as cotyledons. The definition of monocots is that their seeds have only one embryonic leaf. This helps in recognizing that dicot has two seed leaves while Monocots have one seed leaf. This is the basis of their separation, but there are some plants which have both these characteristics and therefore create problems for people who want to understand these plants more. There are many other variations between them too, for example, the veins of trees in the case of monocot are parallel to each other while these tree veins are grouped together for dicots. Moving on to the flowers, they are petals which are multiples of three in the case of monocots, but the petals are in multiples of fours or fives when it comes to dicots. The root patterns for dicots and monocots is distinct in their own way, for the first one, the root system is taproot while for the latter one it is known as fibrous root system. There is no secondary growth which takes place in monocotyledon plants, but there is secondary growth in the plants which belong to the dicotyledonous family. Moving on to the stems, for dicotyledon, the stems are arranged in the bundle of vascular tissues which end up forming a ring, there are two parts of the stem in this which are known as cortex and stele. For monocotyledon, these bundles do not have any particular arrangement and are existent all over the stem and also lack cortex. Some of the other differences between these along with a brief explanation of both these types are given in the latter paragraphs.

Comparison Chart

DefinitionThere are two cotyledons in the seedsThere is only one cotyledon in the seeds
SpeciesThe number of species in the monocot family is more than 60,000The number of species in the monocot family is more than 20,000
FlowersThe flowers in monocotyledon are always in multiples of four and fiveThe flowers in monocotyledon are always in multiples of threes
TissuesVascular tissues are arranged properly in bundles and form a ringVascular tissues are scattered here and there

Definition of Monocot

These are known as the kinds of plants which have just one cotyledon in their embryo, which means they also have one seed leaf in them. Other characteristics of such types of plants include their leaf veins which are parallel in nature, and the flowers which are present on these trees are usually with petals that are in the multiple of three. The roots are fibrous while the stems do not have any particular structure and also lack cortex. Their pollen has a single pore and the type of wood present in them is known as herbaceous. The best examples of such types of trees are the grain trees, lilies, banana and palm tree. There is no secondary growth in these kinds of plants while some of them even show characteristics of a dicot, because of which there arise some confusions. There are more than 60 thousand species in this type of plant classification which makes it the biggest.


Definition of Dicot

These type of plants are known to be distinct because of the feature that their seed has two cotyledons, there are more than 20 thousand different types of plants in this kind and is smaller than the other one. Traditionally they have always been known as dicotyledon and initially were treated as a separate class. There are three furrows in pollens for the case of dicots while the stem is arranged in concentric circles instead of having no arrangement whatsoever. The leaf veins are arranged in a reticulated manner, and there are signs of secondary growth. The flowers which exist have petals in the multiples of four or more while the Roots live from the radicle which follows the taproot system. Their wood structure consists of herbaceous and woody while the number of seeds present in them is two each for every leaf. The examples of this kind of plants are beans, daisy, lettuce and tomato.

Differences in a Nutshell

  • There are two cotyledons in the seeds of a dicot plant while there is only one cotyledon in the seeds of a monocot plant.
  • The number of species in the monocot family is more than 60,000 while the number of species in the dicot family is more than 20,000.
  • The leaf veins in monocot are parallel to each other, but the leaf veins in a dicot are reticular.
  • The flowers in monocotyledon are always in multiples of four and five, but dicotyledon always has flowers with multiple of three petals.
  • No secondary growth takes place in monocots, but there is such growth in dicots.
  • Vascular tissues are arranged properly in bundles and form a ring in the case of dicots but there is no such arrangement for monocots, and the vascular tissues are scattered here and there.
  • The best example of a monocot tree is sugarcane while the best example of a dicot tree is grass.
  • Taproot pattern is followed in dicots while there are fibrous roots in a monocot system.

Comparison Video

YouTube video


Monocot and Dicot are two terms which are very common when it comes to studying about plants. But there are many ways in which the main differences between them can be explained to the people who want to know more about them and that is what this article has done, given people a general idea about the differences between the two terms.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss