Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


The saguaro is queen of the Sonora Desert, just like the Joshua tree is queen of the Mojave. These hardy cacti appear all over the Tucson area, growing wild and in people's yards. The Saguaro National Park, right outside Tucson is a great place to check them out. I am lucky to see them in bloom. Each of their arms has a cluster of white flowers at the top, like a topknot. Each plant is shaped differently, with a different set of arms, and it's easy to attach human personality traits to each plant.

Here are a few interesting facts.
  • Sagauros grow very slowly. It takes about a half century for a plant to reach six feet and can grow up to fifty feet throughout its life. The average life span is 150 years.
  • A mature saguaro weighs over ten tons.
  • A saguaro will produce up to 40 million seeds in its lifetime. Dispersal, rainfall and other factors usually result in only a single one of these seeds living to maturity to replace the parent plant.
  • Saguaros don't grow arms until they reach 55-85 years. Why grow them at all? A survival mechanism. More arms offer more places to produce flowers and seeds.
  • Saguaros produce sweet fruits for desert animals and homes for a variety of birds.
  • The local Native people, the Tohono O'odham, mark their New Year when the saguaro bear fruit. The fruit is used for jams, jellies, wine and candy.

.Posted by Hello


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