What is parenchyma and collenchyma

Difference between parenchymal, collenchymal, and sclerenchymal cells

Parenchymal cells are the type of living plant cells known for their healing and repair mechanisms as well as food storage. Collenchymal cells are known to provide mechanical support to plants by protecting the delicate inner part of the plant. Sclerenchymal cells are the matured dead cells and are located in wooden parts or hard stems of the plant.

Likewise, the people who have bones to support their body structure have plants that help them by supporting their structure, protecting the internal parts, giving strength, etc. These three tissues (parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma) are considered to be as the basic tissue of plants and to lend of the plant from its growth stage to life Mechanic solidity .

In addition to the above, plant tissues also help in the division of the new cells and in the growth of the new plants. It also helps with various metabolic activities. They also help the tissues of the leaves, stems and branches flex and protect against damage.

tissue are formed from the group of cells that perform a specific function. Plants are also multicellular organisms that contain numerous cells and are each assigned for specific activity. In general there are two types of plant tissues, viz meristematic and permanent fabrics . The permanent tissues are in turn divided into simple permanent tissues and complex permanent tissues.

In this article, we will focus on the three types of simple permanent tissues, namely parenchymal, collenchymal, and sclerchymal tissues. We will also discuss the basic point on which they differentiate.

Comparison table

Basis of comparisonParenchymaCollenchymaSclerenchyma
The living plant cells come from the soil and protodermal meristem. These types of cells are most common in plant tissues.The type of living plant cells that come from the pro-cambium. The plant's epidermal layers are made up of collenchymal cells.The hard and outer part of the stem consists of the sclerchymal cells. These are the dead plant cells that come from ground meristem and protoderm procambium.
Found in
These types of cells are present in every soft part of the plant.These cells are found in certain parts of the plant such as leaves, stems, and petioles.It occurs in mature parts of plants or trees.
Cell type
Non-specialized and living cells.
Specialized cells and living cells.
Specialized, matured and dead cells.
Cell shape
Cells come in different shapes, but in general they are isodiametric.Elongated cells are present.
Sclerids, elongated and fibrous.
Cell wall
There is a thin cell wall.Uneven cell wall.Hard and thick cell wall present.
The cell wall consists of cellulose.
The cell wall consists of pectin and hemicellulose.
The cell wall consists of lignin.
Intercellular space between cellsGift.
There is less space between the cells.
Absent and so the cells are tightly packed.
Parenchymal cells help with food storage, gas exchange and photosynthesis.Collenchymal cells provide mechanical support and elasticity to the plant.Sclerenchymal cells support the plant mechanically. It also aids in the transport of water and nutrients to the plants.

Definition of the parenchyma

Parenchyma is the simplest tissue made up of living cells that forms the thin layer known as the primary cell wall the plant is called. The parenchyma comes from the Greek "parenchyma" and means "something that was poured next to it". Parenchymal cells are widespread in plants and appear as a continuous mass from the stems to roots, leaves and fruits.

Parenchymal cells are responsible for creating many other specialized cells and tissues. Structurally, they are isodiametrically shaped because they have thin cell walls, due to which they are subjected to force and pressure around the walls of the cells. In this state, the cell increases its volume capacity to equalize the pressure across all cells.

The walls of the cells are mainly made up of hemicellulose and cellulose. The parenchymal cells are rich in organelles such as ribosomes, Golgi bodies, endoplasmic reticulum, chloroplasts and other ingredients such as pigments, starch, fats and proteins. These contents provide the nutrients for the germinating embryo.

Due to its cell structure, the parenchyma plays several roles in different parts of the plant. Some of the main functions of parenchymal cells are storage, transport, gas exchange, protection, photosynthesis, repair of damaged tissue, and creation of other specialized cells. Therefore, parenchymal cells play an important role in the overall development of the plant throughout its life.

Definition of collenchyma

It is known that Collenchymal cells structurally support the cell. They are also living cells with thick cell walls. The cell walls of the collenchymal cells consist of pectin, hemicellulose and cellulose and. The cells have a prominent nucleus with other organelles.

Collenchyme also stores food, prevents leaves from tearing and also performs the function of photosynthesis. Collenchymal cells drive the organs of the plant to elongate and grow.

These cells are absent in monocots and even in the roots of all plants, although they are present in the dicot leaves via the petiole, leaf vein, and midrib. There are three different types of collenchymal cells that are angular, lacunar, and lamellar.

Definition of sclerenchyma

As we discussed, sclerchyme is called the dead tissue of plants because it is made of hardwood. The secondary walls of the matured sclerenchymal cells are thick and contain lignin and hemicellulose. These cell types are hard, non-growing, and non-stretchable, and occur in mature stems or bark.

Sclerenchyma comes in many different sizes and shapes, but sclerids and fibers are of the main types. Sclerids occur in tissues such as the xylem, phloem, marrow, cortex, and periderm. This cell also contributes to the hard covering of nuts, fruits, and other seeds.

Fibers support the plants as they are elongated cells that are found in abundance in every part of the plant. Some types of fibers like leaf, seed hair are also economically important as they are used as woven and textile materials.

Main differences between parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma

The following points distinguish the three types of basic tissue present in plants, namely parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerchyma:

    1. Parenchyma is one of the types of living plant cells derived from the soil and protodermal meristem. These types of cells are most common in plant tissues. Another type of living plant cell derived from the pro-cambium and called Collenchyma cells are known . The epidermal layers of the plant are made up of these cells. Third, the hard and outer part of the stem is made up of the sclerchymal cells. These are the dead plant cells that come from ground meristem and protoderm procambium.
    2. Parenchymal cells come in occurs in any soft part of the plant, but collenchymal cells are found in certain parts of the plant such as leaves, stems, and petioles, while sclerchymal cells are found in mature parts of the plants or trees.
    3. There are different types of shapes of all cells, but in general, parenchymal cells are isodiametric, while collenchyme are elongated and sclerchyme are sclerids, fiber in their shapes.
    4. Parenchyma has a thin Cell wall of their cells and consists of cellulose. Whereas collenchymal cells have an uneven cell wall made of pectin and hemicellulose. There is a hard and thick cell wall of the sclerenchymal cells, which is made up of the lignin.
    5. The intercellular space between cells is present in parenchymal cells, while in collenchymal cells there is less intercellular space, and in sclerenchymal cells there is no intercellular space, due to which the cells are tightly packed.
    6. The function of parenchymal cells consists of food storage, gas exchange, and photosynthesis, while collenchymal cells provide mechanical support and elasticity to the plant, while sclerenchymal cells provide mechanical support to the plant. It also aids in the transport of water and nutrients to the plants.


We are all aware of the importance of tissues in plants and animals. In this article, we examined plant tissues and their specific functions. Although plant anatomy also has different categories of tissues such as vascular tissue, epidermis, and ground tissue, above we only examine the ground tissues and how they differ from each other.