The saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. The Giant Saguaro are just starting to bloom to the delight of many happy honey bees.
The Saguaro Cactus has a smooth and waxy skin and is covered with two-inch spines that are located on the tree’s vertical ribs. In May and June, the Cactus bears creamy white flowers with yellow centers that measured about three inches. The Saguaro Cactus flower can be found on the end of the branches. The flower only opens on cooler nights and is closed during the heat of midday. The stem of the cactus can be 18 to 24 inches in diameter, The Cactus and its branches grow upright as do all cacti in the southwestern U.S. When it rains the Saguaro Cactus soaks up water and holds it in its ribs. Since it does not rain a lot in the desert, the cactus uses the water that it stores when it doesn’t rain. The Saguaro Cactus is Arizona’s state flower. The average lifespan for a Saguaro cactus is about 200 years.
The Saguaro Cactus lives in an especially rocky terrain consisting of desert slopes and flats. The Saguaro cactus also lives in bajadas or lowlands. The cactus likes a hot, dry climate. It does not need a lot of water to survive. The Saguaro Cactus lives only within the Sonoran Desert of southeastern
California, southern Arizona, and northwestern Mexico. In the Sonoran Desert, the Saguaro Cactus can grow in very limited areas below elevations of 3,500 feet.
Photo taken in Peoria, Arizona, USA