Thursday, 26 November 2009


Just enough education to perform

Ok, I promised, well, mentioned some educational stuff so here we go. Pencils sharpened and notepads ready?

Monocts and Dicots

No, that’s not a sort of cheery alien toy or new Disney character but the two areas that all flowering plants are divided into. Full names are monocotyledons and dicotyledons but monocot and dicot is easier.

Mono (one) Di (two) refers to leaves, in this case seed leaves. When your precious little seed germinates it will have either one or two, depending on what it is. Grasses are the easiest to see this on.

A Monocot have a single leaf with veins running parallel to their length, slender non-woody stems (except Palms) and flower parts arranged in threes. With Monocots, the sepals are modified to resemble petals.

Sounding complicated?

The simple rule is look at the leaf. If it rolls around the stem to make a sheath, then i’s generally a monocot.


Well, yes, they are the rest. Easily identifiable as having two distinct seed leaves coming off of a single stem. Those leaves have a network of veins thick or woody stems when mature and flower parts which come arranged in multiples of 4, 5, 7 or more. The flowers are usually enclosed in leaf like sepals, as when a rose is in bud for example.

Now, it is homework time. Have a look around your garden, look at the flowers in the florists or just peek at the neighbours greenhouse and see if you can spot the differences!

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