Dictionary > Dicotyledon


noun, plural: dicotyledons
A group of flowering plants belonging to the class Magnoliopsida of Angiospermae (angiosperms), characterized by having two photosynthetic cotyledons in the seed that may emerge from the ground when the seed germinates.
Examples of dicotyledonous plants are beans, buttercups, oaks, sunflowers, etc.
The angiosperms (the flowering plants) can either be a monocotyledon (or monocot) or a dicotyledon (or dicot) according to the number of cotyledons in their seeds (which in the case of dicots the cotyledons are two, hence the name). The cotyledons of the dicots may also emerge and show above the ground and function similar to leaves (i.e. perform photosynthesis).
Apart from the number of cotyledons, other identifying characteristics are as follows:

  • the number of flower parts – dicot flowers are tetramerous or pentamerous (in multiples of four or five)
  • the number of pores in pollen – dicots have three
  • arrangement of vascular bundles in the stem – in dicots, the vascular bundles are in concentric circles
  • secondary growth – dicot stems usually have secondary growth
  • the roots – dicot roots have taproot system
  • the arrangements of major leaf veins – in dicots, the leaves have reticulate venation

Word origin: From di- (“two”) + cotyledon (“embryonic leaf”).

Related forms: dicotyledonous (adjective)
Variant: dicot
Compare: monocotyledon

You will also like...

Control of body movement
Control of Body Movement

Some of the body movements can be controlled at will, others cannot. The body has a motor program, which is the pattern ..

temperature - abiotic factor
Abiotic and Biotic Factors

This tutorial deals with the abiotic factors of the freshwater environment that determine what sort of life would be sui..

green leaf - close up view

Leaves are the major photosynthetic organ of a plant. Apart from that, they are also crucial to water movement. In this ..

Genetic engineering
Genetic Engineering Advantages & Disadvantages

This tutorial presents the benefits and the possible adverse eventualities of genetic engineering. Know more about this ..

Direct and indirect physiologic effects of growth hormone
Animal Growth Hormones

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands of animals. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus are the most impor..

running freshwater community
Running Water Freshwater Community Factors

This tutorial noted some of the physical and chemical factors that provide the framework of a running water community in..