What is collenchyma tissue and its function

Collenchyma tissue is a type of plant tissue that functions to provide structural support and flexibility to plant organs. This tissue consists of cells that are still alive and have thick cell walls, especially in parts of the plant that are experiencing active growth or that require additional support.

The following are some of the characteristic characteristics of collenchyma tissue:

  1. Living Cells: Collenchyma cells are living cells. Even though these cells are mature, they remain active and can undergo metabolic processes.
  2. Thick Cell Walls: Collenchyma cell walls are thicker than parenchyma cells or epidermal cells. These cell walls contain cellulose, pectin, and other substances that provide structural strength and support.
  3. Cracks or Air Spaces: Collenchyma cells usually have cracks or air spaces between their cells. This provides flexibility to the tissue so that plants can grow well without experiencing structural damage when changes in the shape or size of plant organs occur.
  4. Mainly found in leaves, young stems, and areas experiencing active growth: Collenchyma tissue is often found around parts of plants experiencing active growth, such as stem tips, young leaves, and leaf edges. Collenchyma helps provide support and protect growing plant organs.

The main function of collenchyma tissue is to provide mechanical support and protect plant organs from damage due to pressure or shock. Apart from that, collenchyma also plays a role in transporting substances through cellular processes such as diffusion.

Collenchyma is a type of plant tissue that plays a crucial role in providing support and mechanical strength to various parts of a plant. It is characterized by its elongated cells with thickened cell walls, which can provide flexibility and resistance to tensile forces. In this article, we will delve into the structure and functions of collenchyma tissue, highlighting its significance in plant growth and development.

Structure of Collenchyma Tissue:

Collenchyma cells are elongated cells that are typically found in young plant organs, such as stems, petioles, and leaf veins. They have primary cell walls that are unevenly thickened, especially at the corners where the cells meet. These thickened cell walls contain a substance called pectin, which provides strength and support to the tissue.

Types of Collenchyma:

There are three main types of collenchyma tissue based on the arrangement of cells:

  • 1. Angular Collenchyma: In this type, the cells have thickened corners, giving them an angular appearance. This arrangement provides strength and support to the plant structure.
  • 2. Lamellar Collenchyma: Here, the cells have continuous, thickened walls that form layers. This type of collenchyma is commonly found in petioles and leaf veins.
  • 3. Lacunar Collenchyma: This type of collenchyma has large intracellular spaces, or lacunae, between the cells. These spaces allow for the passage of gases and other nutrients within the tissue.

Functions of Collenchyma Tissue:

  • 1. Mechanical Support: Collenchyma tissue provides support to various plant organs, especially in areas undergoing active growth. Its thickened cell walls and elongated cells help to resist bending and stretching forces, maintaining the structural integrity of the plant.
  • 2. Flexibility: The flexibility of collenchyma tissue allows for bending and movement in response to environmental factors, such as wind or changes in water availability. This flexibility helps prevent damage to the plant and allows for adaptive growth.
  • 3. Nutrient Transport: Collenchyma tissue can transport nutrients within the plant. The lacunae present in lacunar collenchyma allow for the movement of gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, as well as the transport of sugars and other organic compounds.
  • 4. Growth and Development: Collenchyma tissue is often found in actively growing regions of plants, such as the apical meristem. Its presence helps to support and guide the directional growth of the plant, contributing to overall development.


Collenchyma tissue is a specialized plant tissue that provides support, flexibility, and nutrient transport within the plant. Its unique structure and functions make it an essential component of plant growth and development. Understanding the role of collenchyma tissue allows us to appreciate the intricate mechanisms that enable plants to thrive and adapt in their environments.