What Is a Dicotyledonous Plant?
image by Photo by Tico Bassie (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tico_bassie/120810354/)
Several criteria are used to classify plants. Historically, flower morphology has been the primary determinant of classification, but biochemical and genetic data are increasingly important.
The two major plant phyla are the gymnosperms (conifers, cycads, Ginkgo) and angiosperms (flowering plants). The Angiosperms are further divided into two major classes---the Monocotyledonae (monocots) and the Dicotyledonae (dicots).
Definition of a Dicot
A dicot is so named, because it produces two special leaves---the cotyledons---upon germination. These embryonic leaves are "seed leaves" that quickly fall off or shrivel up, and they do not look like the later leaves that are typical of the plant.
In dicots, the vascular bundles (xylem and phloem) are arranged in a ring close to the outside the stems. In monocot stems, the vascular bundles are arranged more randomly.
About this Author
Philip McIntosh has more than 30 years of experience as an equipment engineer, scientific investigator and educator. He has been writing for 16 years, and his work has appeared in scientific journals, popular science magazines, trade journals and on science and technology websites. McIntosh holds a B.S. in botany and chemistry, and an M.A. in biological science.