- Botany. the fundamental tissue of plants, composed of thin-walled cells able to divide.
- Anatomy, Zoology. the specific tissue of an animal organ as distinguished from its connective or supporting tissue.
- Zoology. a type of soft, spongy connective tissue of certain invertebrates, as the flatworms.
- Pathology. the functional tissue of a morbid growth.
Origin of parenchyma
- unspecialized plant tissue consisting of simple thin-walled cells with intervening air spaces: constitutes the greater part of fruits, stems, roots, etc
- animal tissue that constitutes the essential or specialized part of an organ as distinct from the blood vessels, connective tissue, etc, associated with it
- loosely-packed tissue filling the spaces between the organs in lower animals such as flatworms
Word Origin for parenchyma
1650s, Modern Latin, from Greek parenkhyma "something poured in beside," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + enkhyma "infusion," from en- "in" + khein "to pour" (see found (v.2)). In ancient physiology, the stuff that was supposed to make up the liver, lungs, etc., which was believed to be formed from blood strained through the capillaries and congealed.
- The distinguishing cells of a gland or organ, contained in and supported by the stroma.
- The basic tissue of plants, consisting of cells with thin cellulose walls. The cortex and pith of the stem, the internal layers of leaves, and the soft parts of fruits are made of parenchyma. In contrast to sclerenchyma cells, parenchyma cells remain alive at maturity. They perform various functions, such as water storage, replacement of damaged tissue, and physical support of plant structures. Chloroplasts, the organelles in which photosynthesis takes place, are found in parenchyma cells. Compare collenchyma sclerenchyma.