All flowering plants fall into one of two classes: monocots or dicots. Most flowering plants are dicots, distinguished by two leaves on the plant's embryo. Familiar dicots include composite flowers such as dandelions and daisies, the rose family and all trees except palms.
Dicots begin their lives when their seeds germinate. First, the root penetrates the seed coat, then the two embryonic leaves -- the cotyledons -- for which dicots are named emerge. These cup around and protect the plant's first true leaves as they push through the soil. The cotyledons of many dicots also provide nutrients to the growing plant.
Dicots differ from monocots as they grow in that dicots can produce woody tissue. Not all dicots develop woody stems.
Pollen produced by male flower structures lands on female flower structures and fertilizes the egg inside, forming a seed. As the embryo develops, it will form two seed leaves compared to the single leaf formed inside monocot seeds.
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