Monocots and dicots are the two major groups of flowering plants. Monocots represent a fourth of all the species of flowering plants, and include four major foods: wheat, barley, rice and corn. Dicots typically have four to five petals, while monocots have three or multiples of three.
Cosmos bipinnatus, commonly referred to as cosmos or the Mexican aster, is from the aster/daisy family and is a dicot. It is a fast and easy to grow annual that will attract butterflies to the garden. It has feather-like 10-inch long leaves. Flowers are 2 to 3 inches wide and come in pink, white, red and purple hues. The entire plant can range from 1 to 7 feet in height, depending on the cultivar. Plant a cosmos flower in well-drained soils with good moisture and bright sunlight. Propagate via seed.
Eschscholzia californica, commonly referred to as the California poppy, is from the poppy family and is a dicot. It is an easy to grow annual. Flowers are 2 to 3 inches wide, cup shaped, and come in yellow, red or orange tones. Leaves are 6 to 8 inches long, grayish green and fern-like. The entire plant can get up to 12 inches tall. Plant a California poppy in full sun in well-drained soils. Propagate via autumn or spring seed.
Alcea rosea, commonly referred to as the hollyhock, is from the mallow family and is a dicot. It is a biennial that will attract butterflies to the garden. Leaves are rough and 1 to 2 inches long. Stems are 5 to 6 feet, some getting to 8 feet or more. Flowers are funnel shaped and white, purple, pink, red or yellow in color, 2 to 4 inches wide. Plant a hollyhock flower in full sun in well-drained soil. Propagate via seed.
Yucca filamentosa, commonly referred to as Adam’s needle or bear grass, is from the agave family and is a monocot. It is an evergreen perennial that is drought tolerant. Leaves are straplike and 1 inch wide with spikes of 12 feet tall. Flowers are white and 2 inches long. Plant an Adam’s needle in full sun with well-drained soil. Propagate via seed, offshoots and root cuttings.
Agave Americana, commonly referred to as century plant and maguey, is from the agave family and is a monocot. It is an evergreen, drought-tolerant perennial. Leaves are 6 feet long and grayish green. Flower stalks are 20 to 40 feet tall with 3- to 4-inch yellow green flowers. This is a large plant that needs water only in the summer. Plant in full sun with a well-drained acidic soil. Propagate by seed or by offsets.