Wheat growing in a Gloucestershire field


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

Rank: Class

Common names:

  • Liliopsida,
  • Monocots

Explore this group


  1. Life
  2. Plants
  3. Flowering plants
  4. Monocotyledons

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.