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Plant Tissues

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What is Plant Tissues?

IVSAT 2024

On this page we will be discussing Plant Tissues, its Types, Properties, Examples and Classifications. But first learning about Plant Tissues in depth, let us talk about Cell and Tissues.

Cell: The basic structural and functional units of life is called a Cell

Tissue: A group of cells performing the same function and are similar in structure is called Tissues.

Plant Cell

Plants do not walk or move drastically; they are immobile. This is why they are given tissues that are built from dead cells; these cells provide the structural strength.

These plants face serious natural challenges like cyclones, floods, and strong winds.

Types of Tissues 

We can classify these tissues into two parts, Meristematic Tissues, and Permanent Tissues.

Meristematic Tissues

These tissues can further develop and have cells that keep on dividing.

These cell tissues exist in different regions of a plant structure. Based on the place where they are situated, we can classify the meristematic tissues into three kinds:

  • Lateral Meristem: This is found in the radial fractions or a root. Lateral Meristem helps in developing a thick solid structure in a plant.

  • Intercalary Meristem: it is found at the base or the internodes of a leaf structure present in plants and trees. This meristem helps in strengthening the internode's size.

  • Apical Meristem: We can find this on the tips of growing roots and stems; this helps in the lengthening of a plant.

Permanent Tissues

The tissues whose cells cannot distribute themselves anymore but still can facilitate being protective, strengthening, and flexible to a plant or a tree are called permanent tissues.

We can classify these tissues into two different types, Simple Permanent Tissue and Complex Permanent Tissue.

Simple Permanent Tissue

Sclerenchyma: The tissues are dead and elongated and have lignin deposits on their cell wall. They are found in the seed coverings, nuts, veins of leaves, vascular tissues of stems and provide strength to a plant. They don't contain any intercellular gaps.

Collenchyma: These tissues are made up of pectin and cellulose and are intercellular living cells with minuscule gaps between their structure. We can find them in the borderline regions of the stems and leaves; they offer flexibility to plants by providing them a structural framework and mechanical support.

Parenchyma: These tissues also contain living cells that are polygonal in shape with a large central vacuole. They have intercellular spaces between them. They are the developers of the pith and ground tissue in a plant. Their structure includes:

  • Chloroplasts that are known as chlorenchyma help a plant in the photosynthesis process.

  • Aerenchyma consists of huge air gaps which provide buoyancy to the plant.

  • Some cells also act like storage cells for the plant where they store starch for the fruits and vegetables.

Complex Permanent Tissue

These tissues include:

Phloem: This tissue is the primary reason for proper flow of food throughout the plant. Xylem: This tissue is the primary reason for proper flow of water and other dissolved throughout the plant.



Xylos; wood

Phlois; inner bark

Term coined and discovered by Nageli (1858)

Term coined and discovered by 

Nageli (1858)

Water conducting tissue

Food conducting tissue

Composed of four different types of cells called; tracheid, trachea, xylem parenchyma and xylem sclerenchyma.

Composed of four different types of cells called; sieve tubes, companion cells, Phloem parenchyma and phloem fibers.

Except for Xylem parenchyma, all other cells are dead.

Except phloem fiber, all phloem cells are living.

Protective Tissues

Some tissues are there to provide stronghold support to a plant. The most well known protective tissues are:

Cork: This tissue is entirely dead and is just there to protect the plants; their intercellular gaps are not there anymore, and their cell walls are impenetrable to gas and water molecules.  

Epidermis: This tissue creates the outer casting of the plant structure. It helps during the loss of water and gaseous exchange.

Properties of Meristematic Tissues

  • We also call them Meristems.

  • They are constantly dividing the cells in tissues inside the plant.

  • They have very small vacuoles.

  • The tissues have cells with very dense protoplasms.

  • These tissues have the power of healing the wounds of plants.

  •  They do not store food.

  • They have a single, large and central nucleus.

  • There is a high metabolic activity in them.

Properties of Permanent Tissues

  • No vacuoles are present in the cells.

  • They do not have the power of division.

  • Their cells are suitably shaped and correctly assembled. 

  • Their cell wall is comparatively thicker.

  • Their nucleus is more prominent.

  • Their cytoplasm is thick.

  • They do not store food.

  • There are sometimes intercellular spaces present between the cells.


  • The meristematic cells keep on bifurcating.

  • Meristematic tissues based on their location are of three types namely; apical, lateral, and intercalary meristematic tissues.

  • Permanent tissues are of two types: Simple and Complex.

Simple Tissues

Complex Tissues

They are made up of only one type of cells 

They are made up of more than one type of cells

Helps in storage of food and mechanical support.

Helps in transportation of water, sugars, minerals, and other metabolites.

Eg: Parenchyma, Collenchyma, Sclerenchyma 

Eg: Xylem and Phloem.

  • Dermal or protective tissues are simple tissues. They form the outer covering of plant parts such as the stem, roots, fruits, flowers etc. The epidermis and cork are two types of dermal tissues.

  • The main function of the ground tissue is to provide support, strength, and flexibility to plants. The three types of ground tissues are; Parenchyma, Collenchyma, and Sclerenchyma.

  • Vascular tissues are also called conducting tissues as they play an important role in the transportation of water and food in plants.

  • Xylem is a water conducting tissue.

  • Phloem is a food conducting tissue.

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FAQs on Plant Tissues

1. What are some different kinds of Plant Tissues?

Some of the most important types of plant tissues we can observe in different layers of a plant are Pith, Protoxylem, Xylem, Phloem, Parenchyma, Collenchyma, Sclerenchyma, Cortex, and the Epidermis.

The Epidermis are the tissue cells that form outside the young plant body and leaves of a plant.

Xylem and Phloem are types of vascular tissues that transport fluids and nutrients inside the plant.

Parenchyma, Collenchyma and Sclerenchyma are different types of Ground cells tissues that are less differentiated than other tissues and manufacture nutrients during the process of photosynthesis.

2. How can we classify Plant Tissues?

There are different criteria based on which we can classify the various types of plant tissues.

  • Classification of Plant Tissues based on their sub-classifications:

  1. Meristematic Tissues: Tissues like Lateral Meristem, Apical Meristem, and Intercalary Meristem.

  2. Permanent Tissues: Simple Permanent Tissues are Parenchyma, Sclerenchyma, and Collenchyma. Complex Permanent Tissues like Xylem and Phloem.

  • Classification of Plant Tissues based on their location on the plant's body:

  1. Ground Tissues: They cover the interiors of a plant.

  2. Vascular Tissues: They transport and dissolve water and other substances in plants.

  3. Epidermal Tissues: They cover the outside of a plant's structure with a single layer of cells.

3.Can we distinguish between Meristematic and Permanent Tissues?

There are several prominent and minor differences between Meristematic Tissues and Permanent Tissues:

  • Meristematic Tissues can divide. Permanent Tissues cannot separate.

  • Meristematic Tissues have cell compositions that cannot be differentiated. Permanent Tissues have cell compositions that can be differentiated.

  • Meristematic Tissues are only composed of one kind of cell. In contrast, Permanent Tissues can either be simple or complex based on their design.

  • Meristematic Tissues have a dense cytoplasm and an absence of vacuoles; permanent Tissues may or may not have a cytoplasm at all, and vacuoles are only present in the living cells of permanent tissue.

4. What is Differentiation?

Many meristematic tissues get old and toughen up to such an extent that their cells cannot distribute further. These tissues turn into permanent tissues and start to conduct one function for the rest of their time. This process of turning the function, size, and shape permanent are called differentiation.

In other words, it is the process in which the cells of a plant tissue present in the root and the shoot of the plant and the cambium mature. They mature to perform specific functions in a plant.

For example, the protoplasm is a tissue cell that just matures and gets lost during the formation of a plant’s tracheary elements.

5. Where can I find more topics related to Plant Biology on Vedantu?

On this page, we learned about Plant Tissues, their types, and also the sub-types. Plant Biology on Vedantu is researched and depicted in various interesting study materials curated by experts.

Students can easily download the mock tests, sample papers, answers, syllabus structures as PDFs for offline use. They can also opt-in for live study sessions and micro-courses based on their preference and needs. This is what makes Vedantu super flexible for a student; they can study various core concepts at their own pace and in their way.

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