noun, plural: monocotyledons
A group of flowering plants belonging to the class Liliopsida (or Monocotyledonae) of Angiospermae (angiosperms), characterized by having only one cotyledon in the seed and an endogenous manner of growth.
Examples of monocotyledonous plants are the palms, grasses, orchids, and lilies.
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.
Apart from the number of cotyledons, other identifying characteristics are as follows:
- the number of parts of flower – monocot flowers are trimerous (in multiples of three)
- the number of pores in pollen – monocots have one
- arrangement of vascular bundles in the stem – in monocots, the vascular bundles are scattered
- the roots – monocot roots are adventitious roots
- the arrangement of major leaf veins – in monocots, the leaves have parallel venation.
Word origin: From mono– (“one”) + cotyledon (“embryonic leaf”).
Related forms: monocotyledonous (adjective)