Monocots, short for monocotyledon, are a group of flowering plants that are characterized as having one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon. One of the differences between a monocot and a dicot is the direction of the filaments in the leaves of the plant. In monocots, the veins in the leaf are parallel, like the leaf in this picture. In dicots, the veins branch out. Other differences between dicots and monocots are the arrangement of vascular bundles and the type of roots the plant has.