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Saguaro Cactus - Symbol Of The American West
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© CT-Graphics - Christine Till
While the giant saguaro cactus, Cereus giganteus, has become an icon of the American West, saguaro cacti will only grow in the Sonoran desert. They are particularly common in the Arizona Upland around Tucson and Phoenix. The Saguaro cactus blossom is Arizona's official state flower.
Saguaros remain vulnerable to environmental damage throughout their lives. It takes about fifteen years for a young Saguaro (or Sahuaro) to reach one foot in height, and forty years to reach ten feet. They continue to grow for 100 years and may live for 200 years. Sahuaro cacti are generally about thirty feet high when fully grown. and provide habitat for several animals. The most noticeable of these is the Gila woodpecker, which creates many of the nest holes seen in mature saguaro stems.
A trip to the Sonoran Desert is not complete without examining these famous picturesque desert plants.
"Saguaro cactus - Symbol of the American West"
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February 11th, 2010
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