Skip to Content


« Back to Glossary Index

**Group 1: General Characteristics and Evolution**

– Monocots have one embryonic leaf in their seeds.
– Monocots exhibit a high degree of evolutionary success.
– Monocots are distinct from other angiosperms.
– Monocots are a monophyletic group.
– Fossil record of monocots dates back to the early Cretaceous period.
– Oldest unequivocal monocot fossils are from 120-110 million years ago.

**Group 2: Taxonomy and Classification**

– Monocots are a major division of flowering plants.
– Monocots are part of the core angiosperms clade within angiosperms.
– Monocots have been named differently in various classification systems.
– Monocots are divided into three grades: alismatid, lilioid, and commelinid monocots.
– APG system recognizes eleven orders of monocots.

**Group 3: Vegetative Features and Roots**

– Monocots lack a lateral meristem for secondary growth.
– Monocots have unique leaf structures and venation patterns.
– Monocots develop adventitious roots, runners, and rhizomes.
– Some monocots are considered geophytes due to their storage organs.
– Monocots utilize different storage organs for nutrient storage.

**Group 4: Economic Importance and Diversity**

– Orchids and true grasses are the largest families within monocots.
– Monocots contribute significantly to agriculture.
– Grass family (Poaceae) and orchids (Orchidaceae) are economically important.
– Orchids contain about 25,000 species.
– Grasses contain about 11,000 species.

**Group 5: Modern Era and Phylogenetic Position**

Plant phylogenetics advanced in the 1990s with rbcL gene sequencing.
– Monocots were confirmed as a distinct group within angiosperms through DNA research.
– Monocots were informally classified as a clade in the APG system since 1998.
– Monocots are situated within the uniaperturate pollen type group.
– The APG system has been regularly updated since its introduction in 1998.

Monocotyledon (Wikipedia)

Monocotyledons (/ˌmɒnəˌkɒtəˈldənz/), commonly referred to as monocots, (Lilianae sensu Chase & Reveal) are grass and grass-like flowering plants (angiosperms), the seeds of which typically contain only one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon. They constitute one of the major groups into which the flowering plants have traditionally been divided; the rest of the flowering plants have two cotyledons and are classified as dicotyledons, or dicots.

Temporal range: Early Cretaceous – Recent
Diversity of monocots which includes wheat (Triticum), taro (Colocasia esculenta), date palm, (Phoenix dactylifera), Zostera marina, lily (Lilium), Pandanus heterocarpus, and ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Type genus

Monocotyledons have almost always been recognized as a group, but with various taxonomic ranks and under several different names. The APG III system of 2009 recognises a clade called "monocots" but does not assign it to a taxonomic rank.

The monocotyledons include about 70,000 species, about a quarter of all angiosperms. The largest family in this group (and in the flowering plants as a whole) by number of species are the orchids (family Orchidaceae), with more than 20,000 species. About 12,000 species belong to the true grasses (Poaceae), which are economically the most important family of monocotyledons. Often mistaken for grasses, sedges are also monocots.

In agriculture the majority of the biomass produced comes from monocotyledons. These include not only major grains (rice, wheat, maize, etc.), but also forage grasses, sugar cane, the bamboos, and many other common food and decorative crops.

« Back to Glossary Index