The Saguaro Cactus is an iconic and interesting cactus to discover. Not only are they interesting and unique in all their shapes and sizes, but they are absolutely massive – the largest cactus in the United States, in fact!
The saguaro cactus is native to Arizona, USA. It can grow to over 40 feet tall and may be seen with or without branches, which may only begin to come in by 90+ years of age! They grow to be about 5 feet in diameter and produce fruit during the summer, which is a significant source of water and nutrients for the desert birds and other creatures in the summer.
Saguaro cacti grow very, very slowly. By 10 years, it can reach 1 to 1.5 inches tall. At 70 years of age, they are just over 6 feet tall, and begin to produce flowers. Some of these cacti never produce any arms, while some produce many – up to 75 have been recorded! Why this is, no one knows yet.
These cacti are huge, and are iconic to the Sonoran desert. I was surprised to learn that these cacti, even the 6-foot ones, are already over 70 years old. With that information, I was not surprised to learn that they are protected in Arizona. Any tampering with them (harvesting, collection or destruction) can result in a hefty fine and some jail time. You’re also not allowed to shoot them, FYI.
All photos taken and copyright by Picture the Amazing