Flowering plants

Flowering plants can be classified according to the nature of their seeds, seedlings and leaves. The two largest groups of flowering plants are:

  • monocotyledons
  • eudicotyledons (also called dicotyledons)

Monocotyledons

Wheatplants
Wheat plants are monocotyledons

The seeds of monocotyledons each contain one embryonic leaf (the ‘cotyledon’). Many monocotyledons have leaves with parallel veins and the parts of their flowers come in threes. Examples of monocotyledons include:

  • palms
  • orchids
  • grasses

Eudicotyledons

Sunflower plants are eudicotyledons
Sunflower plants are eudicotyledons

The seeds of eudicotyledons each contain two embryonic leaves. Eudicotyledons have leaves with branching veins, and the parts of their flowers come in fours or fives. Examples of eudicotyledons include:

  • buttercups
  • dandelions
  • oak trees