Sclerenchyma is a supporting tissue of vascular plants found in organs that have ceased lengthwise growth.
Description of sclerenchyma
In fact, the main characteristic of sclerous cells is that they are rigid and dead. Thus, they cannot grow longer. The walls of these cells are very thick and lignified. They therefore remain after the death of the cell and ensure the rigidity and impermeability of the plant.
Sclerenchyma consists of two types of cells:
- sclereids, which are short and of a variable shape, are isolated in the parenchyma or grouped together into foundation structures to consolidate certain organs;
- sclereid fibres, which are elongated and narrow, are found in a continuous ring or in fibre islands to support the plant.
Cross section of a winter squash stem. The central cell layer consists of cells with thick, red couloured walls: this is the sclerenchyma. © BlueRidgeKitties CC by-nc-sa 2.0