Class:

Liliopsida

Monocots

 

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Class consisting of nearly 60,000 species of angiosperms. Often referred to as the monocotyledons - monocots for short. The earliest monocot fossils are known from the early Cretaceous. Five subclasses have been recognized, although monocot classification is now being reorganized.

Vegetative Characteristics: Monocots are predominantly herbaceous, with less than 10% of the species being more or less woody-stemmed - a reflection of a typical vascular cambium in the class. Woody monocots, in contrast to woody dicots, usually have an unbranched stem with a terminal crown of large leaves. The aquatic habitat has been extensively utilized by different lineages of monocots. Vessel elements often lacking or sometimes restricted to specific organs. Vascular bundles of the stem are usually scattered or borne in 2 or more rings. The mature root system is completely adventitious. A single cotyledon is present or the embryo sometimes undifferentiated. Leaves are mostly parallel or parallel-derived veined.

Reproductive Characteristics: Floral parts are typically borne in sets of 3, seldom 4, and almost never 5. Pollen is uniaperturate or uniaperturate-derived.