Chlorenchyma vs. Collenchyma

What's the Difference?

Chlorenchyma and collenchyma are both types of plant tissues that provide structural support to plants. However, they differ in their functions and characteristics. Chlorenchyma is primarily responsible for photosynthesis and is found in the mesophyll of leaves. It contains chloroplasts, which enable the tissue to carry out photosynthesis and produce food for the plant. On the other hand, collenchyma is a flexible tissue that provides mechanical support to growing parts of the plant, such as stems and petioles. It is characterized by thickened cell walls, which are unevenly distributed and provide strength and flexibility to the tissue. Overall, while chlorenchyma is specialized for photosynthesis, collenchyma is specialized for support and flexibility.


Cell TypeParenchyma cells with chloroplastsParenchyma cells without chloroplasts
FunctionPhotosynthesis and storageSupport and flexibility
Cell Wall ThicknessThin and flexibleUnevenly thickened
Cell ArrangementLoosely packedTightly packed
LocationMainly found in leavesCommonly found in stems and petioles

Further Detail


Plant tissues play a crucial role in the growth, development, and functioning of plants. Two important types of plant tissues are chlorenchyma and collenchyma. Chlorenchyma and collenchyma are both types of parenchyma cells, which are the most common and versatile cells in plants. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct attributes that set them apart. In this article, we will explore and compare the attributes of chlorenchyma and collenchyma, shedding light on their structural and functional characteristics.


Chlorenchyma is a specialized type of parenchyma tissue that is primarily responsible for photosynthesis in plants. It is found in the mesophyll layer of leaves, where it forms the green tissue. Chlorenchyma cells contain numerous chloroplasts, which are the organelles responsible for capturing sunlight and converting it into chemical energy through photosynthesis.

One of the key attributes of chlorenchyma is its ability to perform photosynthesis. The presence of chloroplasts enables chlorenchyma cells to absorb light energy and convert it into glucose, which is used as a source of energy for the plant. This process is essential for the growth and survival of plants, as it provides them with the necessary nutrients to carry out their metabolic activities.

Another important attribute of chlorenchyma is its thin cell walls. The cell walls of chlorenchyma cells are relatively thin compared to other plant tissues, allowing for efficient diffusion of gases, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen, which are essential for photosynthesis. The thin cell walls also facilitate the movement of water and nutrients within the plant.

Furthermore, chlorenchyma cells are loosely packed, with air spaces between them. This arrangement allows for better circulation of gases and facilitates the exchange of gases between the plant and its environment. The air spaces also provide buoyancy to leaves, enabling them to float on water surfaces in aquatic plants.

Lastly, chlorenchyma cells have a high capacity for cell division and regeneration. This attribute allows plants to replace damaged or aging chlorenchyma cells, ensuring the continuous functioning of photosynthesis and the overall health of the plant.


Collenchyma is another type of parenchyma tissue that provides mechanical support to growing plant parts. It is commonly found in the stems, petioles, and leaf veins of plants. Collenchyma cells have thicker cell walls compared to chlorenchyma cells, providing them with strength and flexibility.

One of the primary attributes of collenchyma is its ability to provide support to the plant. The thickened cell walls, composed of cellulose and hemicellulose, give collenchyma cells the strength to withstand mechanical stress and provide structural integrity to the plant. This is particularly important in young, growing plant parts that require support during elongation.

Collenchyma cells are elongated and have irregularly thickened corners. This unique cell shape allows for flexibility and stretching, enabling the plant to adapt to changes in its environment. The irregular thickening of the cell walls also provides additional strength and support to the plant.

Furthermore, collenchyma cells are living cells that can undergo limited cell division. This attribute allows for the growth and expansion of plant parts, ensuring their proper development. The ability of collenchyma cells to divide also aids in the repair of damaged tissues, promoting the overall health and longevity of the plant.

Lastly, collenchyma cells often occur in strands or continuous cylinders, providing continuous support along the length of the plant part. This arrangement allows for efficient distribution of mechanical stress and ensures the stability of the plant.


While chlorenchyma and collenchyma share some similarities as parenchyma cells, they also have distinct attributes that differentiate them. Here is a comparison of their key attributes:

Cell Function

  • Chlorenchyma: Primarily responsible for photosynthesis.
  • Collenchyma: Provides mechanical support to growing plant parts.

Cell Location

  • Chlorenchyma: Found in the mesophyll layer of leaves.
  • Collenchyma: Found in stems, petioles, and leaf veins.

Cell Wall Thickness

  • Chlorenchyma: Thin cell walls.
  • Collenchyma: Thickened cell walls.

Cell Wall Composition

  • Chlorenchyma: Composed of cellulose and other polysaccharides.
  • Collenchyma: Composed of cellulose and hemicellulose.

Cell Shape

  • Chlorenchyma: Loosely packed cells with air spaces.
  • Collenchyma: Elongated cells with irregularly thickened corners.

Cell Division

  • Chlorenchyma: High capacity for cell division and regeneration.
  • Collenchyma: Limited cell division.


  • Chlorenchyma: Loosely packed cells.
  • Collenchyma: Often occurs in strands or continuous cylinders.


Chlorenchyma and collenchyma are two important types of parenchyma cells in plants. While chlorenchyma is primarily responsible for photosynthesis, collenchyma provides mechanical support to growing plant parts. Chlorenchyma cells have thin cell walls, contain chloroplasts, and are loosely packed with air spaces. On the other hand, collenchyma cells have thickened cell walls, elongated shapes with irregularly thickened corners, and often occur in strands or continuous cylinders. Both types of cells have the ability to undergo cell division, although chlorenchyma cells have a higher capacity for regeneration. Understanding the attributes of chlorenchyma and collenchyma helps us appreciate the diverse functions and adaptations of plant tissues, contributing to our knowledge of plant biology and their remarkable ability to thrive in various environments.

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