Dicotyledon Plants: Examples, Definition & Quiz
Botanists classify all plants as monocots or dicots with regard to their structure. In this lesson, we will learn about plants that are considered to be dicots, also called dicotyledon plants.
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Definition of Dicotyledon Plants
Plants are considered by botanists to be monocotyledons or dicotyledons. Most people simplify these words and refer to them as either monocots or dicots. The word cotyledon refers to the seed leaf, which is the first leaf of a plant to develop and is an important part of the seed and embryo. Dicotyledons are plants that have two initial cotyledons.
In addition to two seed leafs, there are other characteristics of dicots. Dicotyledon plants have flower parts in groups of four or five. This means they will have four or five petal and sepals. The vascular bundles that carry water and nutrients through the stems of dicotyledons are arranged in concentric circles rather than being randomly scattered. They also have roots that grow from the radicle of the developing seed, whereas monocot roots are adventitious and can grow from stems and other parts of the plant.
Examples of Dicotyledon Plants
One classic example of a dicotyledon plant is the magnolia tree. These trees grow in many places in the southern United States. In fact, it is the state tree of Mississippi. They are classified as dicotyledons because they germinate form beneath the soil with two cotyledons. Their vascular bundles are arranged in circles, and their flowers have petals and sepals in groups of four.
In the past, many people used castor oil as a treatment for ailments. This oil is extracted from the castor bean plant. While we know now it is not a good idea to use this oil as a medicine, the plant is still used widely in gardens to deter rodents and as an ornamental plant. Castor bean plants are true dicotyledons that have two large cotyledons that emerge from the ground. They also have roots that grow from a central radical, and their tissues are arranged in circles.
Other dicotyledon plants that you may be familiar with include coffee, cotton, impatien, pea, squash, and soybean plants.
Summary of Dicotyledon Plants
Dicotyledon plants include any plant that has parts in numbers or four or five, two cotyledons, roots that grow from the radicle, and vascular tubes arranged in circles. Common examples include the magnolia tree, the castor bean plant, and coffee plants.
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