Classes of Crops

Classes of Crops

Crops can be classified into different categories based on various criteria such as their use, growth habit, life cycle, etc.

Classification of Crop based on Plant Form

Crop plant form refers to the shape, size, and structure of different parts of a plant. The form of a crop plant is important as it can affect factors such as growth, yield, and harvesting. Here are some common forms of crop plants and their explanations:

Herbaceous Plants

Herbaceous plants have soft, green stems and leaves. They are usually annuals, which means they complete their life cycle within a year. Examples include lettuce, spinach, and cabbage.

Vining Plants

Vining plants have long, thin stems that require support to grow upwards. They are usually annuals and have tendrils that help them climb. Examples include cucumber, melon, and grape.

Tree Plants

Tree plants have woody stems and can grow very tall. They usually have a single trunk and branches that spread out. Examples include apples, mango, and orange.

Shrub Plants

Shrub plants are smaller than trees but have woody stems and multiple branches. They can grow up to several meters tall and wide. Examples include blueberry, raspberry, and rose.

Climbing Plants

Climbing plants are plants that use other plants or structures to climb up. They can have woody or herbaceous stems and can grow very tall. Examples include grapevine, ivy, and beans.


Grasses are usually herbaceous plants with long, thin leaves that grow from the base. They have shallow roots and are commonly used for grazing and making hay. Examples include wheat, rice, and corn.

Classification of Crops Based on Morphology


Monocotyledonous, also known as monocots, are a class of flowering plants characterized by having a single embryonic leaf, called a cotyledon, in their seeds. The cotyledon is the first leaf structure that emerges from the seed during germination and serves as a source of nutrients for the developing seedling.

Monocots are one of the two major groups of angiosperms (flowering plants), the other being dicotyledons (dicots). Monocots differ from dicots in a number of ways, including the number of cotyledons, the arrangement of their vascular tissue (in parallel veins rather than a branching network), and the structure of their flowers (often in multiples of three rather than four or five).

Examples of monocots include grasses, orchids, lilies, palms, and bananas. Many monocots are important economically, providing food, fibre, and ornamental plants.

Characteristics of Monocot

Monocotyledons, or monocots, are a class of flowering plants characterized by several unique features, including:

  1. Single cotyledon: Monocots have only one embryonic leaf or cotyledon, which is the first leaf that emerges from the seed upon germination.
  2. Parallel veins: The leaves of monocots have parallel veins, which run from the base to the tip of the leaf.
  3. Fibrous roots: Monocots have fibrous roots that spread out in a shallow, mat-like network just below the surface of the soil.
  4. Floral parts in threes: The floral parts of monocots are usually arranged in threes or multiples of three, including petals, sepals, stamens, and pistils.
  5. No secondary growth: Unlike dicots, which have secondary growth (the growth in girth of stems and roots), monocots lack secondary growth, and their stems and roots remain thin throughout their lives.
  6. Scattered vascular bundles: The vascular bundles in monocots are scattered throughout the stem, rather than arranged in a ring as in dicots.


Dicotyledonous (also known as dicots) refers to a group of flowering plants that have two embryonic leaves or cotyledons in their seeds. Dicots are one of the two main groups of angiosperms, the other being monocotyledons (monocots), which have only one cotyledon.

The two cotyledons, dicots typically have flower parts (such as petals, sepals, stamens, and pistils) in multiples of four or five, net-like leaf veins, and a taproot system. Examples of dicots include roses, daisies, oak trees, and soybeans.

Characteristics of The Dicot Plant

Dicot plants, also known as dicotyledonous plants, are a group of flowering plants that have two embryonic leaves or cotyledons. They are characterized by a number of unique features, including:

  1. Leaves: Dicot plants typically have leaves with net-like veins and a distinct petiole or stalk that attaches the leaf to the stem.
  2. Flowers: Dicot plants have flowers with four or five petals, arranged in a circular or spiral pattern. They also have multiple stamens, often arranged in a ring around the centre of the flower.
  3. Roots: Dicot plants have a taproot system, with one main root that grows deep into the ground and smaller secondary roots that branch off from the main root.
  4. Stem: Dicot plants have a branched stem that grows horizontally, with leaves and flowers growing off the branches.
  5. Growth: Dicot plants typically grow more slowly than monocot plants, but they tend to be taller and have more complex structures.
  6. Secondary growth: Many dicot plants undergo secondary growth, which involves the production of woody tissue and an increase in girth over time.
  7. Seeds: Dicot plants produce seeds that are typically large and have two cotyledons or seed leaves.

differences between monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous

CharacteristicsMonocotyledons (Monocots)Dicotyledons (Dicots)
SeedOne cotyledon (embryonic leaf)Two cotyledons
Root systemFibrous (adventitious) root systemTaproot (main) root system
Leaf venationParallel venationNetlike (reticulate) venation
Flower partsUsually in multiples of threeUsually in multiples of four or five
Stem arrangementScattered vascular bundles in the stemRing-like arrangement of vascular bundles
PollenSingle furrow or poreThree furrows or pores
GerminationHypogeal germination (cotyledon remains below ground)Epigeal germination (cotyledon emerges above ground)
Secondary growthNo secondary growth (no cambium layer)Secondary growth (has cambium layer)
ExamplesRice, corn, wheat, lilies, orchidsOak, apple, tomato, sunflower, rose

Classification of Crops Based on Life Cycle 

The lifecycle of a crop refers to the length of time it takes for the crop to grow from seed, reach maturity, flower, produce seeds, and eventually die. There are three different types of crop lifecycles: annual, biennial, and perennial. 

Crops can be classified based on their life cycle into three categories:

  1. Annual Crops: Annual crops complete their life cycle in a single growing season, from seed germination to seed production, and then die. Examples of annual crops include corn, rice, wheat, soybeans, and cotton.
  2. Biennial Crops: Biennial crops take two growing seasons to complete their life cycle. They typically grow vegetatively in the first season and produce flowers and seeds in the second season before dying. Examples of biennial crops include carrots, beets, and onions.
  3. Perennial Crops: Perennial crops live for multiple growing seasons and can produce multiple harvests. They can be categorized into two types:
  • Herbaceous Perennials: Herbaceous perennials are plants with non-woody stems that die back to the ground during the winter but regrow from the root system in the spring. Examples of herbaceous perennials include asparagus, rhubarb, and strawberries.
  • Woody Perennials: Woody perennials are plants with woody stems that persist year-round. Examples of woody perennials include fruit trees such as apple, peach, and cherry, as well as nut trees such as walnut and pecan.

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