Read these interesting Saguaro cactus facts to know more about this unique plant, which is known as the largest cactus in the US.
Our planet is rich from a wide variety of plants. Every geographical area has its own characteristics that make it special. Similarly, the US states of California and Arizona are the home of the largest cactus in America called Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea).
Saguaro Cactus Facts
1. Native place
It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican State of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California. The flower of a saguaro cactus is Arizona’s state wildflower.
2. The lateral branches begin to grow after 70 years
Saguaro cactus doesn’t start growing branches or you can say arms until it is 70 years old and at least 12 feet tall.
The branches of the saguaro cactus measure between 18 to 24 inches.
3. Very slow growing plant
Saguaro is an extremely slow growing plant in its early stage of life. During the first ten years, it grows up by 1-2 inch.
4. The active growth begins after 30 years of life.
Marking 30 years which is only around one fourth of its life, its active growth begins.
5. Height and Weight
It can grow up to 20 m (70 ft) tall. Saguaro is one of the heaviest plants. An adult can vary between 6-10 tons.
6. Water storing capabilities
This is one of the most interesting saguaro cactus facts: It has a large capacity to store water. During the rainfall in the desert, it can soak up to 200 gallons of water.
If you squeeze a mature cactus, it is possible to squeeze out about two tons of liquid out of it.
7. House for the homeless
The cactus is home to many animals – owls, woodpeckers, snakes, mice and others. It is also a great water source in the desert.
8. A Fruitful Plant
Saguaro is a fruitful plant. It grows red fleshy berries, which is prized by local people. Each fruit contains around 2000 seeds.
9. Deep Tap Root
Most of the saguaros have shallow roots that are only 4-6 inches deep and radiate out as far from the plant as it is tall. However, its tap root extends down into the ground more than 3 feet.
With the right growing conditions, it is estimated that saguaros can live up to 150-200 years old.
The saguaro flower has one of the most powerful fragrances, it emits a sweet, musky odor. The flower only open up at the night and closes during the day.
Flowers appear on the saguaro when the cactus is at least 35 years old. The flowers are white in color bloom in late spring followed by red edible fruits in the summer.
It’s illegal in Arizona to move a saguaro cactus from a private or public property without permission.
Also Read: Sassafras Tree Facts