Difference Between Dicot and Monocot leaf

The difference between dicot and monocot leaf is due to factors like the type of venation pattern and symmetry.

Venation pattern:
Monocot leaf shows parallel venation, i.e. in this kind of leaves the veins strike parallel to each other. It has isobilateral symmetry, i.e. both the leaf surfaces (ventral and dorsal surface) are similar because it has an equal number of stomata distribution and undifferentiated mesophyll.

Dicot leaf shows reticulate venation, i.e. in this kind of leaves the veins striking towards each other. It has dorsiventral symmetry, i.e. both the leaf surfaces (ventral and dorsal surface) are different because it has stomata only in the lower epidermis and differentiated mesophyll.

Content: Dicot Vs Monocot leaf

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. Diagram
  3. Anatomy
  4. Key Differences

Comparison Chart

PropertiesDicot leafMonocot leaf
ShapeBroad or palmateLong and slender
Colour of upper leaf surfaceDark greenBoth the upper and lower surfaces are equally green
Colour of lower leaf surfaceLight green
VeinsNet or reticulate veins
reticulate veins
Parallel veins
parallel veins
StomataFound in lower surfaceEqually distributed in both the surfaces
Arrangement of stomataPresent randomlyArranged in parallel rows
Guard cellsKidney shaped
guard cell in dicot
Dumb-bell shaped
guard cell in monocot
Bundle sheathSingle layeredOne or more than one layer
Colour of bundle sheathColourlessColoured due to abundance of chloroplast
Extensions of bundle sheathParenchymatousIt is both Parenchymatous and Schlerenchymatous
Lateral wallSinuous/CurvyStraight
Bulliform/Motor cellsAbsentPresent
Vascular bundlesLargeSmall and large both
Arrangement of vascular bundlesPresent in rowsPresent randomly
Intercellular spaceLargeSmall
Silica deposition on epidermal cellsAbsentPresent
Hypodermis of mid ribCollenchymatousSchlerenchymatous
ExamplesLeguminous plants (pea, beans, peanuts etc.), tomato, brinjal, oak leaf etc.Leaf of grains (Wheat, corn, rice etc.), banana, bamboo etc.


The main characteristic feature to distinguish the dicot and monocot leaf is the type of venation a leaf have. One can easily observe either the veins are striking or parallel by seeing a leaf. Below is the diagram of dicot and monocot leaf, where we can see the venation pattern.

diagram of monocot and dicot leaf

Anatomy of Dicot Vs Monocot leaf

To know the whole concept of dicot and monocot leaf cell, there are some properties which are as follows:

anatomy of dicot and monocot leaf


Dicot leaf shows dorsiventral symmetry where both the dorsal and ventral surface are distinguishable whereas monocot leaf shows isobilateral symmetry where both the dorsal and ventral surface is similar.


It is the outer waxy envelope that covers the epidermis layer. Dicot leaf has a thin layer of cuticle on both the upper and lower epidermis whereas Monocot leaf has thick cuticle on the upper epidermis and thin on lower epidermis.


It is second covering that protects the internal cells against damage. It divides into:

  1. The upper or adaxial epidermis
  2. Lower or abaxial epidermis

Monocot leaf has the same epidermis layer due to equal distribution of stomata whereas in dicot leaf the stomata present mostly in the lower epidermis and less or no stomata on the upper epidermis.


These are the cells that are present below the epidermis. It is the middle layer of a leaf that constitute the most of the leaf. It has a high number of chloroplasts that shows photosynthetic activity. In dicot leaf the mesophyll is differentiated into two cells:

  1. Upper palisade mesophyll: These are elongated cylindrical cells, arranges in the parallel fashion. It attaches to the upper epidermis. Palisade mesophyll contains less or no intercellular space because these lack air cavities.
  2. Lower spongy mesophyll: These are rounded cells which are arranged loosely. Spongy mesophyll present near the lower epidermis. It has large intercellular space because of the presence of air cavities.

Whereas undifferentiated mesophyll is present in monocot leaf. It has only spongy mesophyll, which is spherical in shape and is compactly arranged.

Vascular bundle

It consists of vascular tissues xylem and phloem that plays a significant role in the transportation process. Where xylem helps in water transportation which contains vessels, tracheids etc. And phloem contains sieve tubes and companion cells helps in food transportation. The size of the vascular bundle depends upon the size of veins.

In dicot leaf, the vascular bundle is present centrally. The vascular bundle is conjoint, collateral and closed which encloses by single-layered bundle sheath. In monocot leaf, the vascular bundle present parallel in each row. It has collateral and closed vascular bundle, encloses by both Parenchymatous and Sclerenchymatous bundle sheath.

Stomata and sub stomal cavities

In dicot leaf, stomata and sub stomal cavities are present on the lower epidermis whereas, in monocot leaf, stomata and sub stomal cavities are present on both upper and lower epidermis.

Bulliform cells

These are the large, colourless, empty cells that attach to the upper epidermis that plays a significant function in rolling and unrolling of leaves. In dicot leaf, Bulliform cells are absent whereas, in monocot leaf, it is present.

Key Differences Between Dicot and Monocot leaf

  1. The symmetry of dicot leaf is “Dorsiventral”, and in monocot, it is “Isobilateral”.
  2. A shape of a dorsiventral leaf is broader and comparatively smaller whereas isobilateral leaf is slender and long.
  3. As the dicot leaf is dorsiventral therefore the colour of both the upper and lower surfaces are different in colour. And, as the monocot is isobilateral the colour of both the upper and lower surfaces are green in colour.
  4. Venation pattern in a dorsiventral leaf is reticulate where veins are striking towards each other and having net-like veinlets. And, a monocot leaf has a parallel venation pattern.
  5. The stomata present randomly and usually on the lower surface of dorsiventral leaf whereas, in monocot, the stomata present in parallel rows and are uniformly present on both the leaf surfaces.
  6. The guard cells of stomata are kidney-shaped in dicot leaf and dumb-bell shaped in monocot leaf which is the characteristic feature that differentiates the dorsiventral and isobilateral leaf.
  7. Another identifying feature is that in dorsiventral leaf, differentiated mesophyll is present (Palisade and Spongy mesophyll) and a monocot leaf has an undifferentiated mesophyll.
  8. In dorsiventral leaf, single-layered and colourless bundle sheath is present and in monocot, double-layered and coloured (due to an abundance of chloroplast) bundle sheath is present.
  9. A bulliform or motor cells are present in monocot leaf for the rolling and unrolling action of leaf and absent in dorsiventral leaf.
  10. The vascular bundle is large in dorsiventral leaf, and in monocot leaf, both large and small vascular bundle is present.
  11. Another feature is that in dicot leaf the intercellular space is more due to the presence of air cavities whereas, in monocot, the intercellular space is small as they lack air cavities and due to the compact arrangement of mesophyll cell.


Therefore, the conclusion is that a dicot and monocot leaf differs from each other by the external features like venation pattern, symmetry, shape, size, colour and by the internal feature, i.e. anatomy of the leaf cell.

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