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sclerenchyma

[skli-reng-kuh-muh] /sklɪˈrɛŋ kə mə/
noun, Botany
1.
supporting or protective tissue composed of thickened, dry, and hardened cells.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; scler- + (par)enchyma
Related forms
sclerenchymatous
[skleer-eng-kim-uh-tuh s, skler-] /ˌsklɪər ɛŋˈkɪm ə təs, ˌsklɛr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sclerenchyma

sclerenchyma

/sklɪəˈrɛŋkɪmə/
noun
1.
a supporting tissue in plants consisting of dead cells with very thick lignified walls
Derived Forms
sclerenchymatous (ˌsklɪərɛŋˈkɪmətəs) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from sclero- + parenchyma
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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sclerenchyma in Science
sclerenchyma
  (sklə-rěng'kə-mə)   
A supportive tissue of vascular plants, consisting of thick-walled, usually lignified cells. Sclerenchyma cells normally die upon reaching maturity but continue to fulfill their structural purpose in the plant. There are two types of sclerenchyma cells: fiber cells and sclereids. Compare collenchyma, parenchyma.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for sclerenchyma

any of various kinds of hard, woody cells that serve the function of support in plants. Mature sclerenchyma cells are dead cells that have heavily thickened walls containing lignin. Such cells occur in many different shapes and sizes, but two main types occur: fibres and sclereids. Fibres are greatly elongated cells whose long, tapering ends interlock, thus providing maximum support to a plant. They can be found almost anywhere in the plant body, including the stem, the roots, and the vascular bundles in leaves. Sclereids are extremely variable in shape and are present in various tissues of the plant such as the periderm, cortex, pith, xylem, and phloem. They also occur in leaves and fruits and constitute the hard shell of nuts and the outer hard coat of many seeds

Learn more about sclerenchyma with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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