Monocot Vs Dicot: Dicotyledonous and Monocotyledonous
Plants can be classified in several different ways: by the type of flower, by the size they reach once adults, by the shape of their leaves … But, in botany, there is a classification that is used a lot and is to differentiate plants between monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous.
What is the meaning of these two words? How are they different from each other?
Monocotyledons are flowering plants (angiosperms) that are characterized by having a single cotyledon, that is, when germinating only one single primitive leaf comes out, instead of two. But the interesting thing does not end here, but that this difference goes beyond how many leaves sprout when the seed germinates. In fact, its growth is very different from that of dicotyledons. I explain why:
This type of plants do not have a true secondary growth, that is, they do not have a real trunk, and if you cut it, you do not see the annual rings that you would see in the trees or shrubs. Why? Because they do not have cambium, which is a meristematic plant tissue located between the bark and the wood, composed of a layer of embryonic cells. Without it, monocots can not produce wood, so the increase in their height occurs in a different way: broadening internodes as they grow .
Other interesting characteristics are its roots , which are adventitious, that is, they all come from the same base of the stem . Thus, its root system is short, it does not go deeper than 5-60cm depending on the plant. As a result of all this, they can not have many branches, as they do for example trees that are dicotyledonous. In addition , the leaves have visible, parallel ribs , like those of the grass that forms the grass.
What types of plants are monocotyledonous? It is believed that there are about 50 thousand species, including grasses, palm trees, bulbous plants, or orchids. Let’s see some examples:
Phoenix canariensis (Palmera canaria)
It is a palm tree endemic to the Canary Islands (Spain). It reaches a height of up to 13 meters , with a crown formed by pinnate and long leaves of up to 7 meters. Its trunk is quite thick, being able to reach a diameter of 1m at its base.
It is a great garden plant, since it resists heat and frost of up to -7ºC .
Tulipa sp (Tulips)
They are bulbous plants native to the Middle East. It is estimated that there are about 150 species and innumerable hybrids . Many of them are marketed as ornamental flowers, since their colors are really wonderful.
In order to enjoy them to the fullest, they are planted in autumn . Thus, in the spring we will have a garden or patio decorated with these elegant flowers.
Musa paradisiaca (banana tree)
It is a herbaceous plant native to the Indomalaya region. It reaches a height of 4 meters, with long leaves of up to 2m . It produces some fruits that are well known to all: the banana, which can measure from 7 to 30cm in length and up to 5 in diameter.
You can have it both on the ground and in a pot, but it is much more advisable that it be planted directly in the garden so that it can have optimum development. Resists the cold until -2ºC .
They are the most common group of angiosperms, so much so that it is believed that there are about 200,000 species. In them, the embryo that is inside the seed emits two cotyledons to germinate, which are two primitive leaves that will serve as food for the new seedling. Once it grows, its leaves acquire different shapes: heart-shaped, acintated, with a jagged or simple edge …
Unlike monocotyledons, the root that emerges as soon as it germinates continues to grow as the primary root. And another important detail: if you cut a branch, you will immediately see the annual rings, formed by the xylem and the phloem . These branches, as well as the trunk , can swell with the formation of firewood or wood .
Some examples are:
It is one of the genera of deciduous trees and shrubs most cultivated in all the temperate regions of the world. Distributed by North America, Europe, Asia and North Africa, it is believed that there are 160 species, the best known being the Acer palmatum ( Japanese maple ), the Acer pseudoplatanus ( false banana maple ), and the Acer rubrum(red maple). ), among other.
All of them want mild climates , with not too hot summers (maximum of 30ºC) and cold winters (minimum of -15ºC).
Bouganvillea sp (Buganvilla)
It is a climbing plant native to the tropical regions of South America that can reach heights of up to 12 meters . It does not have tendrils, but its stems are entangled using its sharp thorns. In spring and summer they produce very striking inflorescences, pink, orange or white depending on the variety.
It can be grown outdoors in mild climates , with frosts of up to -2ºC.
Rosa sp (Rose)
They are some of the bushes with the most beautiful flowers that exist. Originally from Europe, North America and northwestern Africa, it is estimated that there are about 100 species and countless cultivars and hybrids. They are very easy to care plants, which only need frequent watering, regular pruning (above all, to remove the withered flowers), and plenty of sun to be precious.
As if that were not enough, they can withstand cold and frosts of up to -5ºC .
Have you heard of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants before this article?