Plants in the monocot group have a single cotyledon in the seedling, and also share other anatomical features. Veins run parallel to the length of the leaves, and flower parts are arranged in a three- or six- fold symmetry. The pollen from the first angiosperms was monosulcate (containing a single furrow or pore through the outer layer). This feature is still seen in the modern monocots. True woody tissue is rarely found in monocots, and the vascular tissue of the stem is not arranged in any particular pattern. The root system is mostly adventitious (unusually positioned) with no major taproot. The monocots include familiar plants such as the true lilies (not to be confused with the water lilies), orchids, grasses, and palms. Many important crops, such as rice and other cereals (Figure 14.30), corn, sugar cane, and tropical fruit, including bananas and pineapple, belong to the monocots.
Figure 14.30 The major crops in the world are flowering plants. One staple food, (a) rice, is a monocot, as are other cereals, while (b) beans are eudicots. Some popular flowers, such as this (c) lily are monocots; while others, such as this (d) daisy are eudicots.