Facts about Saguaro cactus

19 facts about Saguaro cactus

Largest cactus in United States

It’s a succulent which means it has a fleshy interior capable of storing large amounts of water. This is characteristic for plants growing in harsh weather conditions. Saguaro looks amazing and majestic but can be harmful. Its sharp spines can easily penetrate human body and it weighs a lot so you wouldn’t want to be crushed by it, believe me. To be honest, one guy was squashed by saguaro and didn’t survive that encounter.
Its Latin name is Carnegiea gigantea and it’s a member of Cactaceae family.
They are endemic to the Sonoran Desert.
Saguaros can be found in western Sonora in Mexico and southern Arizona in United States.
They can grow to really gigantic forms, but it takes time.
It takes them usually more than 20 years to exceed 1 meter (3ft 3in) height. They reach 3 meters (10 ft) after about 40 years and 7 meters (23 ft) after 100 years.
It’s a long living plant.
Saguaro cactus can live about 150 to 200 years.
They can store a lot of water.
When fully hydrated they weigh around 2000 kg (4400 lb).
Saguaro has very sharp and durable spines.
They can grow to 7 cm (3in) long, and can cause severe wounds to animals and people.
Flowers are white and reach diameter of 8 cm (3 in).
They bloom since April to late June, opening after sunset till mid afternoon next day. Flowers form on the top of a plant as well as on tips of its branches. They are being pollinated by bats and moths at night and during the day by bees and birds.
Each season cactus can produce up to 100 flowers. Each flower is open for less than a day and withers afterwards.
Scent is similar to sweet melon and it lures pollinators easily.
Fruits are ruby red and big.
Their size may vary from 6 to 9 cm (2,5 to 3,5 in) and ripe in June. As they grow really high, special pole is used to harvest them.
Each saguaro fruit contains about 2000 seeds.
It seems a lot but keep in mind that only 1% of them germinate successfully due to harsh weather conditions.