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Saltmarsh Grass.jpg
Scientific Classification

Subclass: Alismatidae

Subclass: Arecidae

Subclass: Commelinidae

Subclass: Liliidae

Subclass: Zingiberidae

Monocotyledons are a group of flowering plants that belong to the taxonomic class Liliopsida (formerly monocotyledoneae). This group are called monocots because they have only one initial sprout (cotyledon) which emerges from the seed. This group includes many economically important plants such as wheat, onions, and corn. It also includes many grasses, garden plants such as asparagus, and flowers such as orchids and lilies.


Monocot seed: a - Seedcoat, b - Endosperm, c - Cotyledon, d - Embryo

What seperates a monocot and a dicot is the number of cotyledons the plant has when it first breaks the surface. Monocots only have one, while dicots have two.

  • Flowers: Monocots usually have three to six petals.
  • Pollen: Monocot's pollen usually have one pore in the outer layer.
  • Stems: Monocots have vascular systems that are in long strands that are as far away from the center as possible.
  • Roots: Developing roots grow from the stem rather then the base of the embryo in Monocots.


Monocotyledons are angiosperms which means that the seeds are inside a protective ovary(fruit). They the produce the seeds when they are allowed to grow long enough at the tips of their stalks. For example, if lawn grass is cut regularly it will never produce seeds. They don't grow the necessary parts to grow and spread seeds. But, if the grass is ignored it will "go to seed", meaning that those parts will grow and produce seeds. After a certain amount of time it will release the seeds and they will drop to the ground, where, if lucky, they take root and grow.


Most monocots grow in tropical areas such as South America. But, monocots are hardy plants and many can grow in marine environments, the desert, and some even the Arctic Tundra. Many monocots are what are called cereal crops. They are planted and raised by independent farmers or corporations to make food with. This group of monocots includes wheat, barley, and oats.


Related References