There is limited regeneration of lost tissue after central nervous system injury, and the lesion is sealed with a scar. The role of the scar, which often is referred to as the glial scar because of its abundance of astrocytes, is complex and has been discussed for more than a century. Here we show that a specific pericyte subtype gives rise to scar-forming stromal cells, which outnumber astrocytes, in the injured spinal cord. Blocking the generation of progeny by this pericyte subtype results in failure to seal the injured tissue. The formation of connective tissue is common to many injuries and pathologies, and here we demonstrate a cellular origin of fibrosis.