Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Saguaro Cactus of the Southwest



The state flower of Arizona is the saguaro cactus flower.

The biggest saguaros are about 200 years old. They have more than 50 arms. Saguaros can grow to over 50 feet tall, but they are not the largest in the world. There are about 50 varieties of tree-like cacti found in the desert and some of them in Mexico and South America are even taller than the saguaro.The biggest saguaros are about 200 years old. They have more than 50 arms. Saguaros can grow to over 50 feet tall, but they are not the largest in the world. There are about 50 varieties of tree-like cacti found in the desert and some of them in Mexico and South America are even taller than the saguaro.

A saguaro's arms usually begin to grow only after it is about 15 feet tall and around 75 years old.
The saguaro is found only in the Sonoran Desert, which includes about 120,000 square miles of California and Arizona. Most of Baja California and half of the state of Sonora, Mexico is also included. You won't find saguaros above an elevation of about 3,500 feet since they can't handle much frost.

Saguaro is an Indian word. The correct pronunciation is "sah-wah-ro" or "suh-wah-ro." The formal name is Carnegiea gigantea. It is named for Andrew Carnegie.
Facts and Photos
By , About.com Guide

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