Monocotyledons (liliopsida) are traditionally one of the two main groups of flowering plants, the other being the dicotyledons. What distinguishes the monocots is the single leaf in the seed (cotyledon) and flower petals in multiples of three. There are over 60,000 recognised species contained within some of the largest families of flowering plants such as the orchids (20,000 species) and grasses (10,000 species). Most of the agriculturally and economically important plants are in here from rice, wheat, barley and sugar cane to palms, bamboo and bananas.
Scientific name: Liliopsida
Monocotyledons (/ˈmɒnɵˈkɒtɪˈliːdən/), also known as monocots, are one of two major groups of flowering plants (or angiosperms) that are traditionally recognized, the other being dicotyledons, or dicots. Monocot seedlings typically have one cotyledon (seed-leaf), in contrast to the two cotyledons typical of dicots. Monocots have been recognized at various taxonomic ranks, and under various names (see below). The APG III system recognises a clade called "monocots" but does not assign it to a taxonomic rank.
According to the IUCN there are 59,300 species of monocots. The largest family in this group (and in the flowering plants as a whole) by number of species are the orchids (family Orchidaceae), with more than 20,000 species. In agriculture the majority of the biomass produced comes from monocots. The true grasses, family Poaceae (Gramineae), are the most economically important family in this group. These include all the true grains (rice, wheat, maize, etc.), the pasture grasses, sugar cane, and the bamboos. True grasses have evolved to become highly specialised for wind pollination. Grasses produce much smaller flowers, which are gathered in highly visible plumes (inflorescences). Other economically important monocot families are the palm family (Arecaceae), banana family (Musaceae), ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae), which includes such ubiquitously used vegetables as onions and garlic.
Many plants cultivated for their blooms are also from the monocot group, notably lilies, daffodils, irises, amaryllis, orchids, cannas, bluebells and tulips.
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