Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
Magnolia flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida*
Included groups
Excluded groups
Young castor oil plant showing its prominent two embryonic leaves (cotyledons), that differ from the adult leaves.

The dicotyledons, also known as dicots, are a group of flowering plants whose seed typically has two embryonic leaves or cotyledons. There are around 199,350 species within this group.[1] Flowering plants that are not dicotyledons are monocotyledons, typically having one embryonic leaf.

Dicotyledons are not a monophyletic group, and therefore the names "dicotyledons" and "dicots" are, strictly speaking, deprecated. However, the vast majority of "dicots" do form a monophyletic group called the eudicots or tricolpates. These may be distinguished from all other flowering plants by the structure of their pollen. Other dicotyledons and monocotyledons have monosulcate pollen, or forms derived from it, whereas eudicots have tricolpate pollen, or derived forms, the pollen having three or more pores set in furrows called colpi.

Traditionally the dicots have been called the Dicotyledones (or Dicotyledoneae), at any rank. If treated as a class, as in the Cronquist system, they may be called the Magnoliopsida after the type genus Magnolia. In some schemes, the eudicots are treated as a separate class, the Rosopsida (type genus Rosa), or as several separate classes. The remaining dicots (palaeodicots) may be kept in a single paraphyletic class, called Magnoliopsida, or further divided.


Compared to Monocotyledons

Aside from cotyledon number, other broad differences have been noted between monocots and dicots, although these have proven to be differences primarily between monocots and eudicots. Many early-diverging dicot groups have "monocot" characteristics such as scattered vascular bundles, trimerous flowers, and non-tricolpate pollen. In addition, some monocots have dicot characteristics such as reticulated leaf veins.

Feature In monocots In dicots
Number of parts of each flower in threes (flowers are trimerous) in fours or fives (tetramerous or pentamerous)
Number of furrows or pores in pollen one three
Number of cotyledons (leaves in the seed) one two
Arrangement of vascular bundles in the stem scattered in concentric circles
Roots are adventitious develop from the radicle
Arrangement of major leaf veins parallel reticulate


APG (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) vs. Cronquist Classification

The following lists are of the orders formerly placed in the dicots, giving their new placement in the APG-system and that under the older Cronquist system, which is still in wide use.

Cronquist system
(classis Magnoliopsida)
Magnoliidae (mostly basal dicots)
Note: "+ ..." = optionally separate family, that may be split off from the preceding family.

Dahlgren and Thorne systems

In the Dahlgren and the Thorne systems, the name Magnoliidae is used for the dicotyledons. This is also the case in some of the systems derived from the Cronquist system. For each system, only the superorders are listed. The sequence of each system has been altered to pair corresponding taxa, although circumscription of superorders with the same name is not always the same. The Thorne system (1992) is the version of the system as depicted by Reveal.

Comparison of the Dahlgren and Thorne systems
Dahlgren system Thorne system




Nymphaeanae Nymphaeanae
Caryophyllanae Caryophyllanae


Malvanae Malvanae
Violanae Violanae
Rosanae Rosanae
Proteanae Proteanae
Myrtanae Myrtanae
Rutanae Rutanae


Santalanae Santalanae
Balanophoranae Santalanae
Asteranae Asteranae
Solananae Solananae




Loasanae Loasanae
Dicotyledons Gentiananae




  1. ^ Hamilton, Alan; Hamilton, Patrick (2006), Plant conservation : an ecosystem approach, London: Earthscan, pp. 2, ISBN 9781844070831, http://books.google.com/?id=P6m0OTheY8sC&printsec=frontcover#PPA2,M1 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • dicotyledon — di*cot y*le don (d[ i]*k[o^]t [i^]*l[=e] d[u^]n), n. [Pref. di + cotyledon.] (Bot.) A plant whose seeds divide into two seed lobes, or cotyledons, in germinating. Syn: dicot, dicotyl. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dicotyledon — ► NOUN ▪ a plant with an embryo bearing two cotyledons (seed leaves) …   English terms dictionary

  • dicotyledon — [dī΄kät΄ə lēd′ n] n. Bot. any of a class (Magnoliopsida) of angiosperms, as oak trees, legumes, and cactuses, with an embryo containing two cotyledons (seed leaves), characterized by net veined leaves, flower parts in fours or fives, and the… …   English World dictionary

  • dicotyledon — UK [daɪˌkɒtɪˈliːd(ə)n] / US [daɪˌkɑt(ə)lˈɪd(ə)n] noun [countable] Word forms dicotyledon : singular dicotyledon plural dicotyledons biology a plant that produces seeds that develop into two leaves …   English dictionary

  • dicotyledon — noun Etymology: New Latin Date: circa 1727 any of a class or subclass (Magnoliopsida or Dicotyledoneae) of angiospermous plants that produce an embryo with two cotyledons and usually have floral organs arranged in cycles of four or five and… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dicotyledon — /duy kot l eed n, duy kot l /, n. Bot. any angiospermous plant of the class (or subclass) Dicotyledoneae, producing seeds with two cotyledons and having an exogenous manner of growth. Cf. monocotyledon. [1720 30; < NL Dicotyledones a pre Linnean… …   Universalium

  • dicotyledon — noun a) A plant whose seedling has two cotyledons. b) Any plant in what used to be the Dicotyledones. Syn: dicot, magnoliopsid …   Wiktionary

  • dicotyledon — Plant (shrub, herb, or tree) whose seeds consist of two cotyledons, i.e., the primary or rudimentary leaf of the embryo of seed plants. * * * di·cot·y·le·don (di kot″əl eґdon) [di + cotyledon] a flowering plant with embryos having two… …   Medical dictionary

  • dicotyledon — Synonyms and related words: Angiospermae, Cycadales, Ginkgoales, Gnetales, Monocotyledones, Pinales, amphibian, angiosperm, angiosperms, annual, aquatic plant, biennial, conifers, cosmopolite, cutting, cycads, deciduous plant, dicot, dicotyledons …   Moby Thesaurus

  • dicotyledon — di·cot·y·le·don || ‚daɪkÉ’tɪ liːdÉ™n n. plant with two seed leaves (Botany) …   English contemporary dictionary

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