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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...
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