Monocotyledon Facts



  • Monocotyledons are one of the two basic classes of flowering plant. The other is dicotyledons.
  • Monocotyledons are plants that sprout a single leaf from their seeds.
  • Monocotyledons are also known as monocots or Liliopsida.
  • There are approximately 50,000 species of monocots – about a quarter of all flowering plants.
  • Monocots include grasses, cereals, bamboos, date palms, aloes, snake plants, tulips, orchids and daffodils.
  • Monocots tend to grow quickly and their stems stay soft and pliable, except for bamboos and palms. Most are herbaceous.
  • The tubes or veins in monocot leaves run parallel to each other. They also develop a thick tangle of thin roots rather than a single long ‘tap’ root, like dicots.
  • The flower parts of monocots, such as petals, tend to be set in threes or multiples of three.
  • Unlike dicots, monocot stems grow from the inside. Dicots have a cambium, which is the layer of growing cells near the outside of the stem. Monocots rarely have a cambium.
  • Monocots are thought to have appeared about 90 million years ago, developing from water lily like dicots that lived in swamps.