Difference between Monocarpic and Polycarpic Plants

Monocarpic Plants

They produce flowers and reproduce only once in their whole lifespan. After the formation of seeds and fruits, they show internal changes and eventually die. Thus, they are mostly annual plants. However, some might also be biennials like carrots.

Monocot families having monocarpic species

  • Agavaceae
  • Arecaceae
  • Musaceae
  • Bromeliaceae
  • Poaceae

Dicot families having monocarpic species

  • Fabaceae
  • Apocynaceae
  • Acanthaceae
  • Asteraceae

Polycarpic Plants

Polycarpic plants produce flowers and seeds many times before their lifespan ends. Some portion of their meristematic tissue maintains a vegetative state so that they can reproduce again. Thus, they continuously reproduce and are perennials. As their lifespan increases, their energy and importance to reproduce decreases. Also, they are the most diversified group that includes trees, herbs and shrubs. Examples – Orange, Mango, Apple, Grapevine, etc.

Difference between Monocarpic and Polycarpic Plants

Monocarpic Plants

Polycarpic Plants

They flower only once in their lifetime.

They flower almost every year during their particular season.

Monocarpic plants are mostly biennial and annual, very few are perennial

Polycarpic plants are usually perennials.

They produce flowers, seeds and fruits once in their lifetime and then die.

These plants do not die after flowering and fruiting.

Though they flower only once, they have more energy to reproduce.

They have comparatively less energy than monocarpic plants to reproduce.

Examples – Wheat, Rice, Bamboo, etc.

Examples – Mango, Orange, Apple, etc.

Also see: Plant Life Cycle and Alternation of Generations

Frequently Asked Questions


What are annuals and perennials?

Annuals are plants that live for a single season and are thus replaced every year. Whereas perennial plants grow for a longer period of time. Also, based on climate and soil, a perennial plant can also be treated as an annual plant in non-native regions. Perennials include a diversified range of plants such as apple, dahlia, plum, mint, etc. Most food plants like wheat, rice, beans and lettuce are annual plants.


What are iteroparous and semelparous species?

Iteroparous species or iteroparous populations have many reproductive cycles in their whole lifetime. Humans are a classic example of this population. Whereas semelparous species have only one reproductive cycle in their lifetime. These terms are almost similar to polycarpic and monocarpic.


What are flowering plants?

Flowering plants include all the angiosperms. These plants produce flowers and fruits. Also, their seeds are encased inside the fruit. These are the most diversified group of plants on land.

Also Read: Plants and its Classification

Keep exploring BYJU’S Biology for more exciting topics.


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