The plants that reproduce with a flower, called angiosperms, are traditionally classified as monocots and dicots. The terms indicate whether the seed will sprout with one or two leaves. Monocots and dicots are distinctions that can help us to know the different parts of the plant.
The root fixes the plant in place and allows it to feed on the minerals necessary for growth. Its function may vary according to its general classification.
For example, dicotyledonous plants tend to develop primary roots that are the main root, with a few smaller roots. Carrots are of this type of taproot. The taproot is a type of storage root, which is an adaptation that allows a plant to store energy for later growth. Sweet potato is also a type of storage root and is also a dicotyledonous plant.
Legumes are special members of the cotyledons, because the roots have nodules where special fungi work in cooperation with the plant so that it can save nitrogen as an energy source.
They are bundles of fine roots that extend in a network in all directions of the plant.
Sometimes these roots grow above the ground and are called “support” roots.
The stem of the plant allows it to grow upright and is a transport system for water and minerals from the ground.
Cells called xylem cells are rigid within the plant’s structure and also allow the flow of water from the root to the leaf. Cells called phloem, which also exist in the plant stem, allow the flow of nutrients from one part of the plant to the other.
In monocotyledonous plants, these vascular cells are uniformly dispersed throughout the plant stem, whereas in dicots, these cells are in an ordered circle corresponding to the shape of the stem.
Water and nutrient transport cells can also allow the plant to grow year after year.
This enlargement is called secondary growth. Woody plants, like trees, that get bigger year after year, tend to be dicotyledonous. However, although some plants may be in a totally different classification, they will have characteristics or traits that resemble each other even though their genetic makeup is completely different. This phenomenon is called convergence.
Palm trees, although they resemble dicot trees in height and growth, are a famous monocot exception of plants that exhibit secondary growth.
The leaves of the plant create the energy that the plant needs through photosynthesis.
In monocots, the veins of the leaves tend to be parallel to each other, whereas in dicots, the leaves generally have a network of veins.
Leaf buds form in an area of the stem called the axilla.
The apex or tip of the shoot, influences the development of the leaves, and also controls the shape of the plant by releasing hormones that determine when and where the leaves of the plant will begin to grow.
The flower is the site of sexual reproduction of the plant. Monocotyledonous flowers usually have multiples of three flower petals, and dicots tend to have multiples of five petals. The female part of the flower is the style, and the stamens are the male part of the flower.
Time and insects are responsible for the transfer of pollen from one plant to another during fertilization. This process is called cross pollination.
After the flower is fertilized, the ovary of the plant matures, and it becomes what we sometimes see as a fruit or a vegetable. Tomatoes, apples, almonds are the ripe ovaries. All these elements contain the seeds that will generate the next plant.