Dictionary » D » Dicotyledon



noun, plural: dicotyledons

A group of flowering plants belonging to the class Magnoliopsida of Angiospermae (angiosperms), characterized by having two photosynthetic cotyledons in the seed that may emerge from the ground when the seed germinates.


Examples of dicotyledonous plants are beans, buttercups, oaks, sunflowers, etc.

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 (which in the case of dicots the cotyledons are two, hence the name). The cotyledons of the dicots may also emerge and show above the ground and function similar to leaves (i.e. perform photosynthesis).

Apart from the number of cotyledons, other identifying characteristics are as follows:

  • the number of flower parts - dicot flowers are tetramerous or pentamerous (in multiples of four or five)
  • the number of pores in pollen - dicots have three
  • arrangement of vascular bundles in the stem - in dicots, the vascular bundles are in concentric circles
  • secondary growth - dicot stems usually have secondary growth
  • the roots - dicot roots have taproot system
  • the arrangements of major leaf veins - in dicots, the leaves have reticulate venation

Word origin: From di- ("two") + cotyledon ("embryonic leaf").
Related forms: dicotyledonous (adjective)

Variant: dicot

Compare: monocotyledon

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Results from our forum

Phylica arborea.

... 1. Like F4T32008 said, the two islands were once one, and the plant existed on them before they separated. As that particular plant is a dicotyledon, it might be anywhere to 100 million years old, so this is possible(I'm not so hot in geology, but it sounds about possible..) 2. The seeds ...

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by MrMistery
Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:34 pm
Forum: Botany Discussion
Topic: Phylica arborea.
Replies: 2
Views: 2650

dicotyledon plants

hey guys, does all dicotyledon plants look the same in a transverse section? do they vary slightly between plants, or do they have vast differences?

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by smash1990
Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:01 pm
Forum: Botany Discussion
Topic: dicotyledon plants
Replies: 1
Views: 2963

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