The uses, ecology, fossil history and distribution of the monocots is summarized. The phylogeny of monocots is outlined, emphasizing the importance of the herbaceous habit in particular, but also 3‐merous flowers, septal nectaries etc., for their diversification.

Keywords: angiosperms; diversification; herbs; secondary thickening; 3‐merous; nectaries; unlignified wall fluorescence; grasses; palms; gingers; lilies

Further Reading

Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2002) An ordinal classification for the families of flowering plants. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, accepted.

Arber A (1925) Monocotyledons. A Morphological Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: [Old, but a classic.]

Dahlren RMT, Clifford HT and Yeo PF (1985) The Families of the Monocotyledons. Structure, Evolution and Taxonomy. Berlin: Springer.

Gould FW and Shaw RB (1983) Grass Systematics, 2nd edn. College Station: Texas A & M University Press. [More popular.]

Jacobs SWL and Everett J (2000) Grasses: Systematics and Evolution. Collingwood: CSIRO.

Kubitzki K (1998) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. III: Flowering Plants. Monocotyledons. Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae). Berlin: Springer.

Kubitzki K (1998) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. IV: Flowering Plants, Monocotyledons. Lilianae (except Orchidaceae). Berlin: Springer.

Purseglove JW (1972) Tropical Crops. Monocotyledons. 2 vols. London: Longman.

Rudall PJ, Cribb PJ, Cutler DF and Humphries CJ (1995) Monocotyledons: Systematics and Evolution. 2 vols. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens.

Stevens PF (2001) Angiosperm phylogeny. []

Watson L and Dallwitz MJ (1992) The Grass Genera of the World. Wallingford, Oxford: CAB International. []

Wilson KL and Morrison DA (eds) (2000) Monocots: Systematics and Evolution. Collingwood: CSIRO.

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How to Cite close
Stevens, Peter F(Feb 2003) Monocotyledons. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003683]