The Mighty Saguaro Cactus - Symbol of the Desert Southwest

Lucinda Walter

Green Valley, United States

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Photograph was taken of a Saguaro Cactus in Arizona.

  1. Featured in The World As We See It , or as we missed it. 4.6.2011
  2. Featured in B&W Photography 4 You – 4.10.2011
  3. Featured in The Wild West Show 3.2.2012

The magnificent Saguaro Cactus, the state flower of Arizona, is composed of a tall, thick, fluted, columnar stem, 18 to 24 inches in diameter, often with several large branches (arms) curving upward in the most distinctive conformation of all Southwestern cacti.

The Saguaro often begins life in the shelter of a “nurse” tree or shrub which can provide a shaded, moister habitat for the germination of life. The Saguaro grows very slowly — perhaps an inch a year — but to a great height, 15 to 50 feet. The largest plants, with more than 5 arms, are estimated to be 200 years old. An average old Saguaro would have 5 arms and be about 30 feet tall.

The skin is smooth and waxy, the trunk and stems have stout, 2-inch spines clustered on their ribs. When water is absorbed , the outer pulp of the Saguaro can expand like an accordion, increasing the diameter of the stem and, in this way, can increase its weight by up to a ton.

Camera: Panasonic DMC-FH20
Converted to b/w.

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All images are copyright © Lucinda Walter. The materials contained may not be reproduced, copied, edited, published, transmitted or downloaded in any way, shape or form. All rights are reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of any of these images without written permission from the Artist is strictly prohibited.

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