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DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS
OF MONOCOTS, DICOTS AND GYMNOSPERMS

 

Division
Spermatophyta - seed bearing plants
Subdivision
Angiosperms
(Angiospermae)
(flowering plants with seeds enclosed)
Gymnosperms (Gymnospermae)
(cones with naked seeds)
Class
Monocots
(Monocotyledoneae)
(means 1 cotyledon)
Dicots
(Dicotyledoneae)
(means 2 cotyledons)
Seeds 1 cotyledon; endosperm often present 2 cotyledons; endosperm often lacking 1 to many cotyledons; no endosperm; female gametophyte tissue present
Flowers Flower parts in multiples
of 3
Flower parts in multiples
of 4 or 5
No true flowers
Leaves Linear; leaf base or petiole (if present) sheathing; parallel venation Broad; petiole present; net venation Needle-like or scale-like
VascularSystem
of Stem
Scattered vascular bundles; no cambium or secondary growth Ring of vascular bundles in primary growth; cambium present; may have woody  secondary growth Ring of vascular bundles in primary growth; cambium present; may have woody  secondary growth
Growth Habit Herbaceous to wood-like (ex. palm), but no true wood (secondary xylem) Herbaceous or woody Herbaceous or woody
 General
Appearance