Difference Between Meristematic and Permanent Tissue

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Differentiate Between Meristematic Tissue and Permanent Tissue

Let us discuss some basic concepts of meristematic tissue and permanent tissue, so we can easily differentiate between meristematic tissue and permanent tissue. When a group of cells performs the same function, it is known as tissue. Usually, these tissues are found in plants. Plant tissue is classified into two types namely meristematic and permanent tissue depending on the cell division capacity. To differentiate between meristematic and permanent tissue in plants you should be thorough with the functions and structures of these tissues. So, let us discuss briefly each of them below.

Meristematic Tissue

Meristematic tissue is also called meristems. They have the ability to enlarge, differentiate and stretch into other types of cells when they mature. The cells of the meristematic tissue are young and immature but they can divide continuously.

Types of Meristematic Tissue

There are three types of meristematic tissue:

  • Apical Meristem: It is located on the tip of the root and stem which helps in the growth of plants. It is further divided into shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem.

  • Primary meristem: There are three kinds of primary meristems. Protoderm(develops into epidermis), Procambium( develops into primary xylem and phloem), Ground meristem (develops into the cortex and the pith).

  • Secondary Meristem: It is also called a lateral meristem because it is around the established cell that helps to grow laterally. There are two types of lateral meristems, vascular cambium (produces secondary xylem and secondary phloem), and cork cambium (produces the periderm which replaces the epidermis).

Permanent Tissue

It contains non-dividing cells that help to perform certain functions. Some of the main functions include the conduction of water, mineral, and nutrition. It also provides support, protection, and helps in photosynthesis.

Types of Permanent Tissue

There are two types of permanent tissues.

  • Simple Permanent Tissue: They are called simple permanent tissue as they are composed of only one type of cell. All the cells which make simple permanent tissue is made up of the same tissue and have a similar structure. Further, it is divided into three types, namely, parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma.

  • Complex Permanent Tissue: It is composed of more than one type of cell and helps to perform some special functions. Some of the examples are xylem and phloem.

Now, let us learn how to differentiate between meristematic and permanent tissue.

What is the Difference Between Meristematic Tissue and Permanent Tissue?

By going through the below table, you will be able to differentiate between meristematic and permanent tissue in plants.

Difference Between Meristematic Tissue and Permanent Tissue


Meristematic Tissue

Permanent Tissue


They have the capacity to divide.

They do not have the capacity to divide.


The composition of cells cannot be differentiated.

The composition of cells can be differentiated.


They are composed of only one type of cell, always simple tissue.

They can either be simple or complex When it is complex they are composed of more than one cell.


The nature of cells is always living.

In this tissue, the nature of cells can either be living or nonliving. The living type of tissue is parenchyma and the non-living type is sclerenchyma.


It contains dense cytoplasm.

Permanent tissue may or may not have cytoplasm.


Meristematic tissue always has a prominent nucleus.

Permanent tissue has a prominent nucleus in some like parenchyma while not in others like sclerenchyma.


In this type of tissue, cell division occurs rapidly.

In this type of tissue,  cells do not divide.


Meristematic tissue has cells small in size and isodiametric in shape.

Permanent tissue has cells large in size and their shape varies.


Cells are compactly arranged without having intercellular spaces.

Cells are arranged loosely in the parenchyma and compactly in sclerenchyma.


Vacuoles are usually absent in meristematic tissue.

Vacuoles are present in living cells of permanent tissue.


Very high metabolic rate 

In permanent tissue Very less or No metabolism occurs.


The difference between meristematic and permanent tissue can be understood by learning some of the basic details of meristematic tissue and permanent tissue. From the above-given differences, we can say that both have different functions and structures, And both have equal importance in the growth and development of the plant.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Characteristic Features of Permanent Tissue?

Answer. Some of the characteristics of permanent tissue are:

  • Their cells don’t have the power to divide.

  • Cells of the permanent tissue are well developed and are in proper shape.

  • They have a thick cell wall.

  • They have cell vacuoles.

  • They have intercellular spaces between the cells.

2. Where is Permanent Tissue Found?

Answer. Almost in all the mature plants, we can find permanent tissue. These tissues carry out some important functions depending on the site of location and their structure. There are two types of permanent tissues: simple permanent tissue and complex permanent tissue. Simple permanent tissue is located below the epidermis, and complex permanent tissue is located in the centre of the roots called a stele in eudicots.