Many plant tissue types end in the affix -enchyma.
- Etymology: enkhyma "infusion," from en- "in" + khein "to pour"
Examples are parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma.
- (meaning "to pour beside," "glue infusion," and "hard infusion.")
My question: Where did this usage of -enchyma meaning "infusion" for plant tissues come from?
- I'm curious from a biological more so than a historical perspective. I.e., why was this word choice chosen for plant tissues?
The best explanation I've found is from Plant Systematics by Michael Simpson:
Para, beside + en-chein, to pour; in reference to the analogy that parenchyma is poured beside other tissues to fill up space.
- So far I haven't been able to corroborate this or expand upon it...