Crops can be classified based on:
- Life Cycle.
CLASSIFICATION OF CROPS BASED ON THEIR USES
In this classification, crops are divided into the following categories:
- Cereal crops: These crops belong to the grass family and they provide carbohydrate, e.g, maize, rice, millet, guinea corn, wheat, barley and oats.
- Pulses (grain legumes): These crops are rich sources of protein, e.g. cowpea, soyabeans, groundnut, lima bean and pigeon pea.
- Roots and tuber crops: These crops produce tubers under the ground and they provide carbohydrates, e.g ., cassava, yam, cocoyam, sweet potato, beets and carrot.
- Vegetable crops: These crops provide vitamins and minerals e.g amaranthus, onion, okra, cauliflower, spinach, bitter leaf and talinum.
- Fruit crops: These also provide vitamins and minerals, e.g ., orange, banana, pineapple, mango, pawpaw and cashew.
- Beverage crops: These provide food drinks when processed, e.g. cocoa, coffee and tea, kolanut.
- Spices: These also provide vitamins and minerals. They also add flavour to our stew or soup, e.g. ginger, pepper and onion.
- Oil crops: These are crops which can provide oil when processed both for domestic and industrial uses, e.g ., oil palm, groundnut, melon, coconut, soyabean, cotton.
- Fibre crops: These are crops used for making clothing materials, ropes and bags, e.g, cotton, sisal, hemp, kenaf and hibiscus.
- Latex crops: These are crops which provide some white sticky liquid or latex used in plastic industries, e.g ., rubber.
CLASSIFICATION OF CROPS BASED ON THEIR LIFE CYCLES
In this classification, the crops are further sub-divided into three groups:
Annual crops: These are crops which grow and mature within one year e.g. maize, rice, cowpea, millet, vegetables, cotton and groundnut.
Biennial crops: These are crops which grow and mature within two years, e.g. pepper, ginger and cassava.
Perennial crops: These are crops which grow and mature in more than two years e.g. cocoa, banana, orange, mango, oil palm and rubber.
CLASSIFICATION OF CROPS BASED ON THEIR MORPHOLOGY
Morphology: Morphology of a plant refers to the form and shape of a plant. It simply shows how a particular plant look like. All crop plants belong to the group called Angiosperms.
- They are the most complex green flowering plants.
- They are vascular plants.
- They have well developed and complete flowers.
- They are seed plants with seeds enclosed in the fruit.
- They are mainly terrestrial plants.
- They show more specialised reproductive mechanism involving pollination and fertilization.
Divisions of Angiosperm
Angiosperms can be sub-divided into two classes according to the number of seed leaves (cotyledons). These are:
- Dicotyledonous plants.
- Monocotyledonous plants.
a) Dicotylodonous Plants
- They bear seeds which have two seed leaves or cotyledons.
- The vascular bundles of each stem are arranged in a regular pattern.
- Their floral parts exist in groups of four or five.
- The leaves have veins arranged in branched network.
- They have tap root system.
- They usually undergo secondary growth.
- Examples include mango, orange, cowpea, groundnut, balsam plant.
b) Monocotyledonous Plants
- They bear seeds which have only one seed leaf (cotyledon).
- The vascular bundles of the stem are scattered.
- Their floral parts exist in groups of three or multiples of three.
- Their leaves have veins running parallel to one another.
- They have fibrous root system.
- They do not undergo secondary growth.
- Examples are maize plant, rice, oil palm trees and guinea grass.
Differences Between Monocotyledonous and Dicotyledonous plants