Monocots and Dicots – The Two Types of Flowering Plants

What are monocots and dicots? What is the difference between them? Learn more about these two types of flowering plants and also learn how to devise an experiment to test their properties.

Aim:To observe, compare and record, the external structures of a monocot plant and two dicot plants.


Apparatus: Hard lens, beaker with water


Materials: Thistle, nettles, wild gladioli plants



1.          The three plants given were examined using the naked eye and a hand held lens. Soil still attached to the roots was removed by gently dipping them in water. The plants were classified into monocots and dicots.

2.          A well labelled diagram of the general structure of each plant was made.

3.          The root systems were observed carefully. The size, distribution and pattern of the roots was noted down. All observations were recorded in a suitable table of results. The diagrams drawn in (2) included the root systems.

4.          When the leaves of the plants were observed, the size, colour, texture and shape of the leaf blades were noted down. The length of leaf stalk and arrangement of veins was also observed.

 Conclusion:There are several basic differences between monocots and dicots. Some of these differences were observed during this investigation while others were not visible by just observing the external features.

 Visible differences in sample studied:



Long narrow leaves

Short broad leaves

Parallel leaf venation

Netted leaf venation

Fibrous root system

Tape root system





Seeds have ONE cotyledon

Seeds have TWO cotyledons

Vascular bundle distributed throughout the cell

Vascular bundle only at the circumference

Floral petals occur in multiples of 3 that is, 3,6,9

Floral petals occur in multiples of 4 or 5


The three basic structures of a plant are the stem, the leaf and the roots.




The stem is that part of the plant which is usually above soil level. It is responsible for:


a.         Carrying the food produced during photosynthesis to all parts of the plant which need it. It also carries water and dissolved salts from the roots to the leaves and flowers.

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