Major Groups of Angiosperms
In an earlier topic, we discussed the diversity of plants. The most complex of them are the angiosperms and by taking a closer look at them, we will be able to understand plant form and function better.
Monocots vs. Eudicots/Dicots
On the basis of several structural features, botanists classify angiosperms into two major clades (related by evolution): monocots and eudicots, which refer to the first leaves on the plant embryo–the seed leaves or cotyledons; with monocots having one seed leaf and a eudicot having two.
Monocots include orchids, bamboos, palms, and grasses while most flowering plants are eudicots. The following table summarizes the characteristics of the two major groups:
|Veins usually parallel
|Veins usually branched
|Vascular tissue scattered in a complex arrangement
|Vascular tissue arranged in rings
|Floral parts are usually in multiples of three
|Floral parts usually in multiples of four or five
|Fibrous root system
|Taproot usually present
For a more visual representation of the table, see the following image:
As we saw previously with animals, a close look at structure often reveals its function. Up next, we will look at the basic organs of a typical plant.
Next topic: Plant Organs
Return to the main article: Plant Form and Functions
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