"Saguaro Cactus" Top 5 Page for this destination Saguaro National Park Favorite Tip by Yaqui
Saguaro National Park Favorites: 22 reviews and 29 photos
Favorite thing: Saguaros grow mostly in the south of Arizona and Mexico in the Sonora Desert from sea level to 4,000 feet. They are a slow growing plant that grows between 1 and 1.5 inches in the first eight years of its life. What is so amazing is how long these magnificent plant lives. They do not start to grow limbs or branches till they are almost 50 to 70 years old or sometimes older. The pleats in a saguaro serve to soak up water so they can conserve their water supply during the hot summers months. A saguaro can almost weight up to 6 tons due to this process and grow as tall anywhere from 15 to 50 feet. There are many layers of a saguaro such as protective spines, epidermis (green part), Cortex or pulp, ribs (pleat), and pith (inside of the ribs). Saguaros attract an array of different animals such as owls, hawks, woodpeckers, purple martins, finches, sparrows, bats, mice, rabbits mule deer, and bighorn sheep. They make ideal homes when they have open cavities making it easy for nests and their fruits are a favorite for food, nectar or pollen. The deer and sheep like eating the skin when water is scare during the drought seasons. The Hohokams have used the ribs to construct their homes and harvest the fruits for food and are still considered very sacred to the Native Americans who live in this area. The average life span of a saguaro cactus is 150 years, but some plants may live more than 200 years.
Saguara National Park
Saguaro National Park-Tucson Mountain District
2700 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is seeing these as a kid from our station wagon traveling back and forth from California and Colorado during the hottest summer months. It was wonderful to finally see them finally up close.
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