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monocotyledon




A member of the smaller of two major classes into which angiosperms (flowering plants) are divided. Monocotyledons, or monocots, are distinguished from the larger class, the dicotyledons, by the presence of a single cotyledon (seed leaf) in the embryo and by other structural features, e.g., parallel veined leaves, stem vascular tissue in the form of scattered closed vascular bundles, and flower parts usually in threes or in multiples of three. A few monocotyledons, such as palm trees, are large plants, but the majority are small. The group includes many important food plants, including cereals, fodder grasses, bananas, and palms, and ornamental plants, such as lilies, tulips, and orchids.


Related category

   • BOTANY