Plant Tissue

A plant tissue is made up of group of cells. These cells may be either similar or dissimilar in structure, function and origin. Plants of higher level show this level of cellular organization. Plant tissue system is the unit of link between different organs of plants. Plant tissues are mainly classified into two types namely, meristematic tissues and permanent tissues.


Meristematic tissues are a set of immature cells having dividing capability.  Their ability to enlarge and differentiate makes them special. Meristematic tissues are found in all growing tips and nodes of plant parts like stems, roots and branches. These are responsible for the increase in length and width of the trees. These tissues mature to form permanent tissues. Some common characteristics of meristematic tissues are given below.

  • They are small, cubical cells covered by thin cell walls.
  • Intercellular spaces are absent.
  • They have dense cytoplasm with large nuclei.
  • Vacuoles are small, sometimes almost absent.
  • They are young cells with dividing capacity. Thus they help plants to divide throughout the life.

 Types of Meristematic tissues

Based on the site of action in plants, meristematic tissues are divided into three types:

Apical meristem: This meristem is located at the apex of roots and stems. During division, the cells enlarge. It also give shapes to different parts.

Lateral meristem: Lateral meristem is responsible for the width of the stem. They are located along the length of the roots and stems, laterally.

Intercalary meristem: Intercalary meristem act along with other types of meristem to increase the length of the leaves and stems. They are mainly found at the base of leaves and nodes and internodes.


Permanent tissues are the tissues which developed from meristematic tissues. Unlike meristematic tissues, permanent tissues consist of mature and differentiated cells. These are the tissues which have lost their dividing capacity. Their characteristics include:

  • Thin living cells or thick dead cells
  • Intercellular spaces which are either present or absent
  • Less dense cytoplasm where single large vacuole is embedded

Types of Permanent Tissues

Plant Tissue

Meristematic and permanent tissues

Based on various factors such as structure, components and functions, permanent tissue is categorized into simple and complex permanent tissues.

Simple permanent tissue: These are made of similar cells. These cells are similar in their origin as well as function. Tissues like parenchyma, collenchyma and sclerenchyma are examples for simple permanent tissues.

Complex permanent tissue: Vascular conducting tissues like xylem and phloem are two complex permanent tissues present in plants. These are the tissues made up of different types of cells but they have common functions.

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