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The Collaborative International Dictionary

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.


n. 1 (context botany English) A plant whose seedling has two cotyledons. 2 (context botany historical English) Any plant in what used to be the ''Dicotyledones''.


n. flowering plant with two cotyledons; the stem grows by deposit on its outside [syn: dicot, magnoliopsid, exogen]


The dicotyledons, also known as dicots (or more rarely dicotyls), were one of the two groups into which all the flowering plants or angiosperms were formerly divided. The name refers to one of the typical characteristics of the group, namely that the seed has two embryonic leaves or cotyledons. There are around 200,000 species within this group. The other group of flowering plants were called monocotyledons or monocots, typically having one cotyledon. Historically, these two groups formed the two divisions of the flowering plants.

Largely from the 1990s onwards, molecular phylogenetic research confirmed what had already been suspected, namely that dicotyledons are not a group made up of all the descendants of a common ancestor (i.e. they are not a monophyletic group). Rather, a number of lineages, such as the magnoliids and groups now collectively known as the basal angiosperms, diverged earlier than the monocots did. The traditional dicots are thus a paraphyletic group. The largest clade of the dicotyledons are known as the eudicots. They are 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.

Usage examples of "dicotyledon".

In rarely or never becoming perfectly straight, these cotyledons differ remarkably from the ultimate condition of the arched hypocotyls or epicotyls of dicotyledons.

Dicotyledons and amongst Monocotyledons, together with several Cryptogams, have now been described.

With dicotyledons the arching of the epicotyl or hypocotyl often appears as if it merely resulted from the manner in which the parts are packed within the seed.

Just before impact, he switched on the landing lights and desperately picked two stout oaklike dicotyledons that looked as if they were just slightly farther apart than the width of their hull.