Biology in Thurston Gardens

A few days ago we visited Thurston gardens. We saw many different flowers and plants, and thanks to our newfound knowledge on biology, we could identify them as monocot or dicot in various ways.

Monocots and Dicots

Monocots are vascular, flowering plants with one cotyledon (the part of the seed that will eventually form the plant) while dicots have two. There are several other ways to tell them apart.

Plant 1

1 full

This plant has five petals on each leaf, indicating that it is a dicot, as dicots have multiples of four or five petals on each flower

1 flower

The plant also had leaves with branched veins, another sign of a dicot.

1 leaf

Plant 2

2 full

This plant had a different petal arrangement, with six petals on each flower, signifying a monocot. Monocot petals are grouped in multiple of three.

2 flower

Also, instead of branched veins on each leaf, the veins run parallel to each other.

2 leaf a

Plant 3

3 full

Sadly, the leaves were too far way, and there were no visible flowers on the tree, but it a gives a different indicator of a dicot; a taproot system. This means that the tree has larger, main roots with smaller roots branching off them.

3 roots b

This tree also had empty seed shells on the ground to examine. The multiple places for embryos containing cotyledons confirm that this tree is a dicot.

3 seed

Plant 4

4 full

This tree also had roots showing, and the fibrous root system, one with many small roots and no main one, indicates that this tree is a monocot.

4 roots a

The leaves also gave signs that the tree was a monocot due to their parallel veins.

4 leaf b

Other Indicators

In addition to the indicators that have been mentioned, one can also verify whether a plant is a monocot or a dicot by the pollen and by the stem.

Stem and Root Structure

The vascular bundles containing the xylem and phloem of in the stem are scattered within the stem of a monocot, but with a dicot they are grouped in a ring around the inside of the stem.

5 stems


The pollen of a monocot has only one pore or furrow, but the pollen of a dicot will have three.

5 m pollen


5 d pollen


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