Embryo of the seed with but a single cotyledon and the first leaves of the germinating plantlet alternate. Stem composed of a ground-mass of soft tissue (parenchyma) in which bundles of wood-cells are irregularly imbedded; no distinction into wood, pith and bark. Leaves usually parallel-veined, mostly alternate and entire, commonly sheathing the stem at the base and often with no distinction of blade and petiole. Flowers mostly 3-merous or 6-merous.

Monocotyledonous plants are first definitely known in Triassic time. They constitute between One-fourth and one-third of the living angiospermous flora.