Phoenix, AZ

Facts about Saguaro cactus

Alistair Dominguez

PHOENIX, AZ – In a desert city like Arizona, you may be familiar with watching lines of cactuses in many places around. But are you thinking they are just ordinary cactuses? No, they are Saguaros, one of 51 species of cactus native to Arizona.

If you’re an enthusiast of wild west film, mainly narrated in Texas or New Mexico, you may see one of these cactuses. But, the actual set to those films is in Arizona, as Saguaro only grows in the Sonoran Desert. You can also see them in Mexico and some areas in southeast California.

How well do you know about the Saguaro cactus? If this questions you, here are some Saguaro facts to know.

• Massive size, but they grow slow

Saguaros are just like pine trees; they need a long time to be such a tall plant. They can only reach a maximum height of 50 feet after 50 years of age. Some Saguaros don’t grow branches at all, thus called “spear” Saguaros. They can reach a lifespan between 150 to 200 years.

• All parts of Saguaro are beneficial

Arizona natives, including Tohono O’odham, Pima, and Seri, use every part of the cactus for food and tools. Almost every desert animal enjoys bright red fruits produced by Saguaro. Do you want to taste this mild-sweet fruit, too? Worry not; it is still favorable nowadays to make syrups, jams, and wines.

• No touching!

Saguaros grow their blossoms in their branches and top of spears every spring. This official flower of Arizona will complete the scenery of desert springtime with wildflowers along the Sonoran Desert.

Those blossoms may encourage you to take pictures with them, but it’s better to keep your distance from Saguaros. Their sharp spines – act as leaves found in trees or bushes – can injure animals and yourself as well. Remember, you want to bring memories, not wounds, right?

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