One way botanists can classify plants is by examining their structures . Cotyledons are an important part of the embryo that is inside a seed. They are the first parts of a seedling to emerge from the ground. Monocots are plants that have a single cotyledon . It is considered one of the two large groups of flowering plants, better known as angiosperms . There are approximately 60,000 species of monocots , including the most important of all plant families, which include true grasses.and the largest of all plant families, which belongs to the orchid group .


What are monocots?

They are a type of plant known as angiosperm phanerogams that have the embryos in the seeds showing a single cotyledon , in other words, it has a single initial leaf . It is the part of a seedling that grows from the ground.

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of monocots
  • Lifecycle
  • Classification of monocots
  • flowers
  • Fruits
  • Seeds
  • Estate
  • Importance
  • Examples of monocotyledonous plants


Monocots are angiosperm plants which only have one cotyledon in the seed, in other words in its embryo . The cotyledons are leaves of plants that can be found in early embryos . Their stems do not have enough ability to grow in terms of thickness and they do not have a lateral meristem or cambium, as they are commonly known.


Characteristics of monocots

The main characteristics that we can observe in monocotyledonous plants are the following:

  • Its flowers are made up of three whorls, which are: the corolla, which at the same time is made up of tepals , the androecium and the gynoecium .
  • Growth in terms of thickness is generally absent.
  • They have venation in the leaves that is known by the name of parallelinervia.
  • They have seeds that have a single cotyledon.
  • They have vascular bundles scattered throughout the stem.
  • They have pollen grains that usually have only one opening.
  • Monocotyledonous roots are fasciculate since they all arise from the same place, with several bundled roots replacing the primary root.
  • The stem at generally has no branches or if they are, are in small quantities and have cambium.
  • The leaves of monocots have a type of parallelinervial veining , laminar , long and narrow .
  • In the flowers it is not possible to establish a difference between the calyx and the corolla
  • Depending on the number of petals, they can be classified into trimers or with three petals, or hexamers or with six petals.
  • It comprises 11 orders and 42 families.


Its life cycle begins as an embryo in the seed , with a single cotyledon wrapped in a pod or vegetative point. From this embryo the root arises that will be later replaced by numerous caulogenic roots . They reproduce by means of insects that are responsible for pollinating other plants and in many cases their life cycle ends when they are ingested by humans or animals.

Classification of monocots

Regarding its classification, there are eight orders or types that are:

  • Liliales : they are herbaceous that have bulbaceous roots in some occasions and climbing stems . They are hermaphrodites and their fruit is in the form of a berry .
  • Arales : they are herbaceous, tuberculous or with tuberous rhizomes. They can be epiphytic or floating aquatic . Its flowers are hermaphroditic or unisexual and its fruit is a berry .
  • Amaryllidales : they are also herbaceous and may or may not have bulbs . Its flowers are hermaphroditic and its fruits are capsule- shaped .
  • Palmales : they are arboreal and have large divided, pinnate or webbed leaves. Its flowers are unisexual , and usually hermaphrodites , its fruit is a berry, drupe or walnut .
  • Zingiberaceae : they can be arboreal plants on some occasions, their flowers are zygomorphic , hermaphroditic or unisexual.
  • Orchids : they are the ones that are found in greater quantity and orchids are the main plant. They are pollinated by insects and their fruits are capsules , although they can also be in berry form.
  • Ciperales : they are herbaceous generally originating from humid areas. Flowers are unisexual or hermaphrodite, and its fruit is in the form of nucule or walnut. It comprises a single family, the sedges .
  • Graminales : its stems are knotty and hollow , its small flowers and hermaphrodite herringbone or cluster. They are of importance for human consumption .


The flower of the monocotyledonous plant usually has three or a multiple of three on its flower petals . When the stamens of the flower are counted and we find that it has three or some of its multiples it will also enter this classification. The veins of the leaves are parallel , that is, they go in one direction, and its stem, when cut, not seen any ring – shaped concentric .


Monocotyledonous fruits are those that have a single piece in their seed and that produce a single leaf when they germinate. Monocotyledonous plants are practically all grain like many tropical fruits.


The seed that a monocotyledonous plant has is the one that is only found in the cotyledons, and for this reason, the plants that belong to this genus only contain single cotyledon in their seed .


The roots can be classified depending on their root system , which is formed by the underground organs that fix the plant to the ground. In monocotyledonous plants, the root system is fasciculate and this is what makes them different.


We can say that monocots are the plants that have the greatest importance for human life both from an economic and cultural point of view , since it is from them that they are extracted and at the same time many of the foods that are consumed worldwide are produced. Many materials that are used in construction and in the area of medicine are obtained by means of them and also serve as food for many types of animals, to generate biofuel and for agriculture .

Examples of monocotyledonous plants

Some examples of monocotyledonous plants are as follows:

  • Bamboo
  • Herb
  • Corn
  • Cane sugar
  • Palms
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Lily
  • Bromeliads
  • Orchids

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