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Traditionally, the flowering plants have been divided into two major groups, or classes,: the Dicots (Magnoliopsida) and the Monocots (Liliopsida). Many people take this separation into two classes for granted, because it is "plainly obvious", but botanists have not always recognized these as the two fundamental groups of angiosperms. Although Theophrastus (circa 370 BC) is credited with first recognizing differences between the two groups, classification of plants was based upon overall growth form -- trees, herbs, vines -- until the 1600s.
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The major character which distinguishes Monocots from Dicots is as follows:
-Monocots posses only a single cotyledon.c(Eg: Zea mays)
-Dicots posses two cotyledons. (Eg: Pisum sativum)

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