May 15, 2005


The Saguaro is the tallest cactus in the Sonoran Desert. It has been known to reach heights of upto 50 feet. Surprisingly it has a shallow root system. However the roots are very long and vast for collecting water. The pleats in its body can expand like an accordion to store water from the rainy season. Each ridge of the saguaro has a row of spines that provide protection and shade. The Saguoro relies on bats, insects and birds to pollinate its flowers. Many birds make their homes in saguoro including the Gila woodpecker, elf, and screech owls, and even an occassional redtailed hawk. In June and July the fruits ripen and are gathered by the Tohona O'odham. A saguoro rib is used to reach the top of the plant and knock down the fruits. Many animals also eat the ripe fruit when they fall to the ground. Source :

One intresting aspect of saguoros is that many of these cactus plants live for more than 200 years.

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