Difference Between Monocot Leaf and Dicot Leaf

Historically, plants are classified into two categories based on the number of cotyledons or embryonic leaves. Therefore, the term “monocot” refers to the flowering plants that contain only one cotyledon. Likewise, the term “dicot” refers to flowering plants having two cotyledons. Besides the number of cotyledons, these two plant categories exhibit vastly different characteristics from each other with respect to other parts of the plant – such as the roots, leaves and stem. We shall explore the differences between monocot and dicot leaf in this article.

And please note, exceptions are present for some of the cases.

Difference Between Dicot Leaf and Monocot Leaf

Dicot Leaves

Monocot Leaves


Dicot plants have leaves that are relatively smaller and broader than monocot plants

Monocot plants have leaves that are characteristically longer and slender


Stomata in dicot leaves are kidney-shaped

Stomata in monocot leaves are dumb-bell shaped

Arrangement of Stomata

Dicot leaves are hypostomatic – which means stomata are present on the lower surface of the leaf

Monocot leaves are amphistomatic – which means the stomata are present on lower as well as the upper surface

Nature of Orientation

Dorsoventral orientation

Isobilateral orientation

Leaf Surface Characteristics

Dicots leaves have a dark green upper surface and a light green lower surface

No such differentiation. Both sides have the same colour.

Size of Vascular Bundles


Small as well as large vascular bundles are present

Intercellular Space

Due to the presence of mesophyll cells, dicot leaves have large intercellular spaces

Monocot leaves have comparatively tighter intracellular space due to the compact arrangement of mesophyll cells

Differentiation of Mesophyll

Differentiated into two parts – upper palisade and lower spongy mesophyll

No such differentiation in a monocot leaf

Venation Pattern

Reticulate venation (web-like pattern)

Parallel venation (Veins do not join other veins)

Characteristic of the Hypodermis of the Midrib



Bundle Sheath Extension



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