The cells of the meristematic tissues are quite distinct in their cytological and physiological characteristics from other cells. The following are the characteristics of the meristematic cells.
1. Cells have the power of active division.
2. They are compactly arranged in tissue and there is absolutely no intercellular space.
3. The cell wall is thin and primary in nature, containing only cellulose. It is uniformly thick. There is no secondary thickening.
4. Cells possess dense protoplasm with a prominent large nucleus compared to other cells of equal volume.
5. Vacuoles are small or absent totally.
6. Cells do not possess ergastic substances.
7. Mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum are very little differentiated.
8. Plastids, when present, are in protoplastid stage.
9. Cells contain relatively more number of ribosomes.
10. Cells are metabolically very active.
When cells of the meristem divide, the daughter cells get differentiated into mature types while the others remain meristematic. For this reason, the meristems perpetuate and become continuous source of cell formation.