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Monocotyledon Plants vs. Dicotyledon Plants: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 17, 2023
Monocotyledon plants have one seed leaf (cotyledon) upon germination, while dicotyledon plants have two.

Key Differences

Monocotyledon plants, often shortened to monocots, represent a significant group in the plant kingdom, characterized by having only one cotyledon, or seed leaf, when they germinate. This singular leaf is an initial phase of their development and provides essential nutrients as the plant starts to grow. Common examples of monocotyledon plants include grasses, lilies, and orchids.
Dicotyledon plants, commonly referred to as dicots, form another large category of plants distinguished by their two cotyledons that emerge upon germination. These twin leaves are vital for the young plant's nourishment in its early stages, facilitating its growth before it can produce its true leaves and obtain energy from photosynthesis. Beans, sunflowers, and roses are typical examples of dicotyledon plants.
The differentiation between monocotyledon plants and dicotyledon plants goes beyond the number of cotyledons. Monocots usually exhibit parallel venation in their leaves, meaning their leaf veins run side-by-side. Furthermore, monocotyledon plants typically produce flowers with parts (like petals) in multiples of three.
In contrast, dicotyledon plants generally showcase a net-like pattern, termed reticulate venation, in their leaves. Additionally, the flowers of dicotyledon plants often have parts in multiples of four or five. This distinction in leaf venation and flower structure makes it easier to identify monocotyledon plants from dicotyledon plants.

Comparison Chart

Number of Cotyledons


Leaf Venation

Reticulate (net-like)

Flower Parts

Multiples of three
Multiples of four or five

Vascular Bundles in Stems

Organized in a circle

Root Development

From stem
From radicle

Monocotyledon Plants and Dicotyledon Plants Definitions

Monocotyledon Plants

In monocots, vascular bundles are scattered throughout the stem.
Looking at the cross-section of a maize stem reveals the dispersed vascular bundles of monocotyledon plants.

Dicotyledon Plants

Flowers of dicotyledon plants often come in parts that are multiples of four or five.
Sunflowers, being dicotyledon plants, have a flower structure often in multiples of five.

Monocotyledon Plants

Monocotyledon plants make up a significant group in the plant kingdom.
Orchids, numbering in the tens of thousands of species, are a diverse group of monocotyledon plants.

Dicotyledon Plants

The vascular bundles in dicotyledon plants are typically arranged in a circular pattern.
A cross-section of a sunflower stem showcases the organized vascular bundles unique to dicotyledon plants.

Monocotyledon Plants

Monocots possess leaves with parallel venation patterns.
The linear veins in grass leaves demonstrate the monocotyledon plants' characteristic venation.

Dicotyledon Plants

Dicotyledon plants represent a large and varied group within the plant kingdom.
From oaks to daisies, the breadth of species in dicotyledon plants is vast.

Monocotyledon Plants

Monocotyledon plants are flowering plants with a single cotyledon in their seeds.
Corn is a classic representation of monocotyledon plants.

Dicotyledon Plants

Dicotyledon plants are flowering plants featuring two cotyledons in their seeds.
Beans, when germinating, exhibit the two cotyledons characteristic of dicotyledon plants.

Monocotyledon Plants

Monocotyledon plants typically produce flowers with parts in multiples of three.
Lilies, being monocotyledon plants, often have flowers with three petals.

Dicotyledon Plants

Dicots have leaves that display a net-like venation.
The intricate veins in rose leaves typify the reticulate venation of dicotyledon plants.


What are monocots?

Monocots are flowering plants with one seed leaf or cotyledon in their seeds.

What type of leaf venation is common in monocots?

Monocots often have parallel leaf venation.

Do monocots have vascular bundles?

Yes, monocots have scattered vascular bundles in their stems.

How many leaves do monocot seeds have when they germinate?

Monocot seeds typically have one leaf when they germinate.

How many leaves do dicot seeds have when they germinate?

Dicot seeds typically have two leaves when they germinate.

Are grasses considered monocots?

Yes, grasses are an example of monocots.

Do monocots produce secondary growth?

Typically, monocots do not produce secondary growth.

What type of root system do monocots usually have?

Monocots usually have a fibrous root system.

What's an example of a monocot plant?

An example of a monocot is a lily.

What type of leaf venation is common in dicots?

Dicots usually have net-like or reticulate leaf venation.

How many flower parts do dicots usually have?

Dicots often have flower parts in multiples of four or five.

What type of root system do dicots typically have?

Dicots usually have a taproot system.

What's an example of a dicot plant?

An example of a dicot is a rose.

How many flower parts (like petals) do monocots usually have?

Monocots often have flower parts in multiples of three.

Are monocots a major group of angiosperms?

Yes, monocots are one of the two major groups of angiosperms.

Do dicots have vascular bundles?

Yes, dicots have vascular bundles arranged in a circle in their stems.

Do dicots produce secondary growth?

Many dicots produce secondary growth, leading to an increase in girth.

What are dicots?

Dicots are flowering plants with two seed leaves or cotyledons in their seeds.

Are dicots a major group of angiosperms?

Yes, dicots are one of the two major groups of angiosperms.

Are sunflowers considered dicots?

Yes, sunflowers are an example of dicots.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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