About Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants in Missouri
The diversity of nonwoody plants, such as wildflowers and grasses, is staggering! Not counting mosses, lichens, ferns and their relatives, and conifers, the flowering plants have traditionally been divided into “monocots” and “dicots,” and many guidebooks use those terms. Monocots have flowers whose parts come in threes (three petals, three stamens and so on), the leaves usually have parallel veins and the seeds have only a single “cotyledon” (the first leaf developed by the embryo in a seed). Dicots typically have flowers whose parts come in fours or fives; the veins in their leaves are netlike, branching out like a feather or fanning from a single point; and the seeds have two cotyledons (“seed leaves”—for example, the two “halves” of a bean seed).