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Dicots, Monocots, or Ferns & allies — illustrated quick guide

I have taken a 'broad' view of the classification of plants and included mosses, lichens and fungi, i.e. almost anything which is not an animal. This quick guide is only intended to help differentiate dicots, monocots, and ferns:
herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees, onions, orchids, rushes, grasses, clubmosses, horsetails and ferns.
NB:There are no pondweeds, palms or charophytes yet, but they would also be in this section.

On Deb's Web scientific names are given priority for plants, although common (vernacular) names are included where known. The index page (link top right) includes scientific names and cross references common (English) names and will hopefully enable any species featured on the site to be found relatively easily.

If you can't decide which group your plant might be in, take a look below for some of the typical and not-so-typical plants. Over 170 plant species are illustrated on Debs Web (as at Sep-2017) — click an image to see more.

The classification of things in the big, wide world is not a simple affair, there are many different systems which use varying numbers of levels, or ranks; historically the highest level was (usually) kingdom but latterly domain is used as the highest level. Carolus Linnaeus divided things into three kingdoms: Animal; Vegetable; and Mineral, other people have devised different systems, usually with more divisions. Ranks (frequently used, highest–lowest) — domain, kingdom, division (botany) or phylum (zoology), class, order, family, genus, species. Other ranks, such as superorder, superfamily, subfamily or tribe can be inserted as and when needed, or even when not needed; this often causes confusion to the uninitiated, including myself. As I like it kept simple I have decided to simply have my own groups and categories.

Debs Web Classification (simplified)

❖ Dicots: most herbaceous plants with obvious flowers, trees (excluding conifers), and shrubs
image: Eyebright, link to dicots web pageimage: Scarlet Pimpernel, link to dicots web pageimage: Hawthorn, link to dicotyledons web page

❖ Monocots: orchids, lilies, grasses, sedges, rushes and onions; flower parts (tepals) usually in threes (3 inner + 3 outer, often similar)
image: Juncus (mixed), link to monocots web pageimage: Rosy Garlic, link to monocots web pageimage: Early Hair-grass, link to monocots web pageimage: Green-winged Orchid, link to monocotyledons web pageimage: Cuckoo-pint, Lord's-and-Ladies, link to monocotyledons web pageimage: Butcher's-broom, link to monocotyledons web pageimage: Butcher's-broom, link to monocotyledons web page

❖ Ferns and allies (Pteridophytes) – including ferns, clubmosses, quillworts, pillworts, and horsetails
image: Hart's-tongue Fern, link to other plant groups web page image: Moonwort, link to other plant groups web pageimage: Moonwort, link to other plant groups web page;"image:image: Great Horsetail, link to ferns and allies web pageimage: Marsh Clubmoss, link to other plant groups web pageimage: Marsh Fern, link to ferns and allies web page

For my website the groups are simply Flora, Fauna, Fungi, and Environment, within these groups I have various categories for which I created photographic galleries, based on broad, but (generally) widely recognized groupings. For vascular plants I roughly followed Stace (2010) for the most part, although I have separated monocots into their own gallery (=category); other categories may be more arbitrary, and may or may not agree with other systems of classification.

Vascular plants (after Stace, 2010).
PTERIDOPHYTES (ferns and fern-allies) includes:
Lycophytes (Clubmosses & Quillworts),
Eusporangiate ferns (Adder's-tongues & Moonworts),
Calamophytes (Horsetails),
Leptosporangiate ferns (True Ferns) includes all ferns and Azolla.
Conifers (only).
ANGIOSPERMS (Flowering Plants) includes:
Pre-dicots (Primitive Angiosperms)
Eu-dicots (True dicotyledons)
Monocots (Monocotyledons).

Stace (2010) — Stace, C.A., 2010, 'New Flora of the British Isles 3rd Edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

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