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This article is about the prickly plant. For the Palm OS programming, see Saguaro (Palm OS). For the ball club, see Surprise Saguaros.
Saguaro National Park close to Tucson, Arizona during November (58).jpg
Preservation status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Logical classificationedit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Echinocereeae
Genus: Carnegiea
Britton and Rose[3]
Species: C. gigantea
Binomial name
Carnegiea gigantea
(Engelm.) Britton and Rose[2]
Carnegiea gigantea range map 3.png
Normal scope of Carnegiea gigantea
Cereus giganteus Engelm.
Pilocereus engelmannii Lem.
Pilocereus giganteus Rumpler
Illustration Of Old Growth Saguaro Cactus
Old development saguaro
The saguaro (/səˈwɑːroʊ/,[5] Spanish elocution: [saˈɣwaɾo]) (Carnegiea gigantea) is a tree-like prickly plant species in the monotypic sort Carnegiea that can develop to be north of 12 meters (40 feet) tall. It is local to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican province of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California. The saguaro bloom is the state wildflower of Arizona. Its logical name is offered to pay tribute to Andrew Carnegie. In 1994, Saguaro National Park, close to Tucson, Arizona, was assigned to assist with ensuring this species and its environment.

A few saguaros are cristate or “peaked” because of fasciation.

A house sparrow settling on a saguaro desert plant
Saguaros have a generally long life expectancy, frequently surpassing 150 years. They might develop their first side arm around 75-100 years old, yet some never develop any arms. Arms are created to build the plant’s regenerative limit, as more apices lead to more blossoms and natural product. A saguaro can assimilate and store extensive measures of water, noticeably growing simultaneously, while gradually involving the put away water depending on the situation. This trademark empowers the saguaro to get by during times of dry season. It is a cornerstone animal varieties, and gives food and territory to an enormous number of animal categories.

Saguaros have been a wellspring of food and haven for people for millennia. Their sweet red fleshed natural products are transformed into syrup by local people groups, like the Tohono Oʼodham and Pima. Their ribs are utilized as building materials in the wood-helpless deserts. The saguaro prickly plant is a typical picture in Mexican culture and American Southwest movies.

1 Description
1.1 Ribs
1.2 Spines
1.3 Flowers
1.4 Fruit
1.5 Genome
2 Taxonomy
3 Distribution and living space
4 Ecology
4.1 As food
4.2 Nests
5 Conservation
6 Uses
6.1 Ethnobotany
7 Culture
8 Gallery
9 References
9.1 Further perusing
10 External connections
The saguaro is a columnar prickly plant that develops remarkable branches, ordinarily alluded to as arms. More than 50 arms might develop on one plant. Saguaros develop from 3-16 m (10-52 ft) tall, and up to 75 cm (30 in) in width. They are slow developing, yet regularly live 150 to 200 years. They are the biggest desert plant in the United States.[6][7]

A many equipped saguaro in Tucson, AZ. Individual for scale.
The development pace of this desert flora is emphatically subject to precipitation; saguaros in drier western Arizona become just half as quick as those in and around Tucson. Saguaros develop gradually from seed, and might be just 6.4 mm (1⁄4 in) tall after two years.[6] Cuttings seldom root, and when they do, they don’t go through the adolescent development stage, which gives an alternate appearance.[8] Since 2014, the National Register of Champion Trees recorded the biggest known living saguaro in the United States in Maricopa County, Arizona, estimating 13.8 m (45 ft 3 in) high with a bigness of 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in); it has an expected age of 200 years and endure harm in the 2005 Cave Creek Complex Fire.[9][10] The tallest saguaro at any point estimated was an armless example found close to Cave Creek, Arizona. It was 78 ft (23.8 m) in tallness before it was brought down in 1986 by a windstorm.[11] Saguaros are stem succulents and can hold a lot of water; when downpour is copious and the saguaro is completely hydrated, it can weigh somewhere in the range of 1,500 and 2,200 kg (3,200 and 4,800 lb).[7][6]

Assessed period of Saguaros in light of their height.[12]
Height Age (Years)
0.5 feet (0.15 m) 9
1.0 foot (0.30 m) 13
5.0 feet (1.5 m) 27
10.0 feet (3.0 m) 41
20.0 feet (6.1 m) 83
25.0 feet (7.6 m) 107
30.0 feet (9.1 m) 131
35.0 feet (10.7 m) 157
Saguaros have an exceptionally enormous root network that can stretch out up to 30 m (100 ft), and long taproots of up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) deep.[6]

Saguaros might take somewhere in the range of 20 and 50 years to arrive at a stature of 1 m (3 ft 3 in).[6] Individual stomatal gatekeeper cells and medulla cells can live and work for up to 150 years,[13] conceivably the longest living, all things considered, aside from potentially nerve cells in some tortoises.[citation needed]

As a prickly plant, it utilizes crassulacean corrosive digestion photosynthesis, which gives significant degrees of water-use effectiveness. This permits the saguaro to just happen around evening time, limiting daytime water loss.[14]

A saguaro without arms is known as a “spear”.[15]

A few saguaros fill in uncommon arrangements called a cristate, or “peaked” saguaro. This development arrangement is accepted to be found in one in around 10,000 saguaros, with 2743 known peaked saguaros documented.[16] The peak development, brought about by fasciation, makes a crease of strange development along the top or top of the arm of the saguaro.[17]

Inside the saguaro, many “ribs” of wood structure something like a skeleton, with the singular ribs being the length of the actual cactus and up to a couple of centimeters in width. The rib wood itself is additionally generally thick, with dry ribs having a strong thickness around 430 kg/m3 (27 lb/cu ft), which made the ribs valuable to native people groups as a structure material. While the ribs of dead plants are not secured by the Arizona local plant law, the Arizona Department of Agriculture has delivered an update examining when composed consent is required prior to gathering them in light of the significance of the deterioration of prickly plant stays in keeping up with desert soil fertility.[18]

The arrangement of the ribs is like that of hardwoods.[19]: 326


Saguaro spines
The spines on a saguaro are amazingly sharp and can develop to 7 cm (3 in) long,[6] and up to 1 mm (1⁄32 in) each day. When held up to the light or divided, exchanging light and dull groups cross over to the long hub of spines are noticeable. These groups have been connected to every day development. In columnar desert flora, spines quite often fill in areoles that begin at the summit of the plant. A spine quits filling in its first season. Areoles are shifted aside and the peak keeps on becoming vertical. Accordingly, more established spines are toward the foundation of a columnar desert plant and more current spines are close to the peak. Studies are underway[when?][by whom?] to look at the relationship of carbon and oxygen isotope proportions in the tissues of spines of a person to its environment and photosynthetic history (acanthochronology).[20]

The spines might make critical injury creatures; one paper announced that a bighorn sheep skull had been infiltrated by a saguaro spine after the sheep slammed into a saguaro.[21] They can likewise make extreme injury people, being as sharp and close to as solid as steel needles. Their long, unbarbed nature implies that somewhat implanted spines can be effectively eliminated, yet their overall length can entangle wounds. The spines can penetrate profoundly, and whenever severed, can leave splinters of spine somewhere down in the tissue that can be hard to eliminate. Completely inserted spikes are additionally hard to eliminate. Such wounds don’t typically bring about contamination, however, as the cactus spines are for the most part aseptic. In any case, spines that stay inserted may cause fiery granuloma.[22]


Saguaro blossoms
The white, waxy blossoms show up in April through June, opening admirably after nightfall and shutting in midafternoon. They keep on creating nectar after sunrise.[23] Flowers are self-inconsistent, in this manner requiring cross-pollination.[6] Large amounts of dust are needed for complete fertilization on the grounds that numerous ovules are available. This dust is created by the incredibly various stamens, which in one outstanding case added up to 3,482 in a solitary flower.[24] A very much pollinated organic product contains a few thousand little seeds.[23]

Fertilization is viewed as somewhat summed up in that various species can create viable fertilization when a few populaces are prohibited. Principle pollinators are bumble bees, bats, and white-winged birds. In most, yet not all reviews, diurnal pollinators offered more than nighttime ones. Bumble bees were the best benefactors. Other diurnal pollinators are birds like Costa’s hummingbird, the dark chinned hummingbird, the wide charged hummingbird, the hooded oriole, Scott’s oriole, the Gila woodpecker, the plated glimmer, the verdin, and the house finch as indicated by concentrates on that inspected the general commitments of diurnal pollinators.[23]

The essential nighttime pollinator is the lesser since a long time ago nosed bat, benefiting from the nectar. A few botanical attributes are intended for bat fertilization (chiropterophily): nighttime opening of the blossoms, nighttime development of dust, exceptionally rich nectar, position high over the ground, sturdy sprouts that can endure a bat’s weight, and scent produced around evening time. Paw blemishes on the bloom demonstrate fertilization by a bat.[25]

Blossoms develop 8.6-12.4 cm (3.4-4.9 in) long, and are open for under 24 hours. Since they structure just at the highest point of the plant and the tips of branches, saguaros developing various branches is reproductively worthwhile. Blossoms open successively, with plants averaging four open blossoms a day over a sprout period enduring a month.[6] In Southern Arizona, saguaros start blooming around May 3 and top on June 4.[26] A decrease in bat populaces causes

^ Burquez Montijo, A.; Butterworth, C.; Baker, M.; Felger, R.S. (2017). “Carnegiea gigantea”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T152495A121476885. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T152495A121476885.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
^ “Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton & Rose”. Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2020-11-30.
^ “Carnegiea Britton & Rose”. Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2020-11-30.
^ “Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton & Rose”. Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
^ “Definition of SAGUARO”.
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a b c d e f g h i j k Pavek, Diane S. (1993). “Carnegiea gigantea”. US Forest Service Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Retrieved 2019-10-02.
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a b c d e f “Saguaro Cactus Fact Sheet”. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
^ Arizona–Sonora Desert Museum Staff (2000). A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert: Revised and Updated Edition. University of California Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0520219809.
^ Brean, Henry (September 22, 2019), “Tree hunters stalk giants for Arizona’s growing list of champions”,, retrieved 2020-01-30
^ Muller, Seth (January 13, 2014), “Natural Selections: Searching out the saguaro”, Arizona Daily Sun, retrieved 2020-01-30
^ “Windstorm Fells 78-Foot Cactus – Tallest in World”. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
^ Hastings, James Rodney; Alcorn, Stanley M. (1961). “Physical Determinations of Growth and Age in the Giant Cactus”. Journal of the Arizona Academy of Science. 2 (1): 32. doi:10.2307/40025669. JSTOR 40025669.
^ MacDougal, Daniel T. (September–October 1926). “Growth and Penetrability of Century Old Cells”. The American Naturalist. 60 (670): 411.
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a b Bronson, Dustin R.; English, Nathan B.; Dettman, David L.; Williams, David G. (2011-08-06). “Seasonal photosynthetic gas exchange and water-use efficiency in a constitutive CAM plant, the giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)”. Oecologia. 167 (3): 861–871. Bibcode:2011Oecol.167..861B. doi:10.1007/s00442-011-2021-1. ISSN 1432-1939. PMID 21822726. S2CID 25829629.
^ Krieg, John C. (2018). Desert Landscape Architecture. CRC Press. p. 466. ISBN 978-1351456104.
^ “Joe Orman’s Photo Pages – Crested Saguaros”. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
^ “Crested Cactus”. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
^ “Arizona Dept. of Agriculture memo on harvesting Saguaro ribs” (PDF). Retrieved 4 November 2019.
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a b c d e f g h Bruhn, Jan G. (1971). “Carnegiea gigantea: The Saguaro and Its Uses”. Economic Botany. 25 (3): 320–329. doi:10.1007/BF02860768. ISSN 0013-0001. JSTOR 4253267. S2CID 44788245.
^ English, N. B.; Dettman, D. L.; Sandquist, D. R.; Williams, D. G. (2007). “Past climate changes and ecophysiological responses recorded in the isotope ratios of saguaro cactus spines”. Oecologia. 154 (2): 247–258. Bibcode:2007Oecol.154..247E. doi:10.1007/s00442-007-0832-x. PMID 17724618. S2CID 282478.
^ Jansen, Brian D.; Krausman, Paul R.; Heffelfinger, James R.; Jr, James C. deVos (24 March 2005). “Saguaro Spine Penetrated Bighorn Sheep Skull”. The Southwestern Naturalist. 50 (4): 513–515. doi:10.1894/0038-4909(2005)050[0513:SSPBSS]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0038-4909.
^ Lindsey, Douglas; Lindsey, Wally E. (1988-07-01). “Cactus spine injuries”. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 6 (4): 362–369. doi:10.1016/0735-6757(88)90158-1. ISSN 0735-6757. PMID 3390256.
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a b c Fleming, Theodore H.; Sahley, Catherine T.; Holland, J. Nathaniel; Nason, John D.; Hamrick, J. L. (2001). “Sonoran Desert Columnar Cacti and the Evolution of Generalized Pollination Systems”. Ecological Monographs. 71 (4): 511. doi:10.1890/0012-9615(2001)071[0511:SDCCAT]2.0.CO;2. hdl:1911/21702. ISSN 0012-9615.
^ Science Vol. 40 (November 6, 1914) p. 680.
^ Abrol, Dharam P. (2011). Pollination Biology: Biodiversity Conservation and Agricultural Production. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 294. ISBN 978-9400719422.
^ Renzi, Julianna (2019). “A decade of flowering phenology of the keystone saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)”. American Journal of Botany. 106 (2): 199–210. doi:10.1002/ajb2.1231. PMID 30791093.
^ Fleming TH, Geiselman C, Kress WJ (2009). “The evolution of bat pollination: a phylogenetic perspective”. Annals of Botany. 104 (6): 1017–1043. doi:10.1093/aob/mcp197. PMC 2766192. PMID 19789175.
^ Nabhan, Gary Paul (2004). Conserving Migratory Pollinators and Nectar Corridors in Western North America. University of Arizona Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-0816522545.
^ “Saguaro Fruit: A Traditional Harvest” (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
^ Drezner, Taly D.; Garrity, Colleen M. (2003-11-01). “Saguaro Distribution under Nurse Plants in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert: Directional and Microclimate Influences”. The Professional Geographer. 55 (4): 505–512. doi:10.1111/0033-0124.5504008. ISSN 0033-0124. S2CID 128958283.
^ Niethammer, Carolyn (1974). American Indian Food and Lore. New York: A Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company. p. 27. ISBN 0-02-010000-0.
^ “SGP5_Cgig_v1.3 – Genome – Assembly – NCBI”. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
^ Sanderson, Michael J.; Copetti, Dario; Búrquez, Alberto; Bustamante, Enriquena; Charboneau, Joseph L. M.; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Kumar, Sudhir; Lee, Hyun Oh; Lee, Junki (2015-07-01). “Exceptional reduction of the plastid genome of saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea): Loss of the ndh gene suite and inverted repeat”. American Journal of Botany. 102 (7): 1115–1127. doi:10.3732/ajb.1500184. ISSN 0002-9122. PMID 26199368.
^ Spence, Mary Lee (1984). The Expeditions of John Charles Fremont, vol 3, Travels from 1848 to 1854. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. pp. 495–496. ISBN 978-0252004162.
^ “George Engelmann – Scientist of the Day”. Linda Hall Library (in American English). 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
^ Nyffeler, R.; Eggli, U. (2010). “A farewell to dated ideas and concepts: molecular phylogenetics and a revised suprageneric classification of the family Cactaceae”. Schumannia. 6: 109–149. doi:10.5167/uzh-43285. ISSN 1437-2517.
^ “Taxonomy – GRIN-Global Web v”. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
^ Schlosser, S. E. “Saguaro cactus: 8 things you might not know”. azcentral. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
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a b c Buckley, Steve (2011) [First published 2009]. Common Plants of Saguaro National Park (PDF). National Park Service; Sonoran Desert Network. p. 63.
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a b “Where Saguaros Grow – Saguaro National Park (U.S. National Park Service)”. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
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a b Drezner, Taly Dawn (2014-06-01). “The keystone saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea, Cactaceae): a review of its ecology, associations, reproduction, limits, and demographics”. Plant Ecology. 215 (6): 581–595. doi:10.1007/s11258-014-0326-y. ISSN 1573-5052. S2CID 18807470.
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a b c d Peattie, Donald Culross (1953). A Natural History of Western Trees. New York: Bonanza Books. pp. 647, 649.
^ Rabe, Michael J. (June 2009). Sanders, Todd A. (ed.). “Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, and Band-tailed Pigeon: 2009 population status” (PDF). Laurel, Maryland: United States Fish and Wildlife Service. pp. 25–32. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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a b Little, Elbert L. (1994) [1980]. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Western Region (Chanticleer Press ed.). Knopf. p. 562. ISBN 0394507614.
^ Mark Elbroch; Eleanor Marie Marks; C. Diane Boretos (2001). Bird tracks and sign. Stackpole Books. p. 311. ISBN 0811726967. Cavities in saguaro cactuses in the Southwest are common. Both gilded flickers and Gila woodpeckers make these cavities for nesting, but they often choose different locations on the cactus.
^ “Gila Woodpecker”. Nature Conservancy. Archived from the original on 2016-12-15. Retrieved 2011-10-28. Although they do not use them immediately, waiting first for the sap to harden, Gila Woodpeckers excavate cavities in cacti and trees as nesting sites.
^ Mark Elbroch; Eleanor Marie Marks; C. Diane Boretos (2001). Bird tracks and sign. Stackpole Books. p. 311. ISBN 0811726967. Cavities in saguaro cactuses in the Southwest are common. Both gilded flickers and Gila woodpeckers make these cavities for nesting, but they often choose different locations on the cactus. The stouter bills of the gilded flickers allow them to cut cavities through the wooden ribs near the top of the cactus where the ribs converge. Gila woodpeckers stay at midlevel on the cactus where the ribs are separated enough to cut a cavity between them. Cavities in saguaros are cut out by these birds the year before they are inhabited. The excavated cactus secretes a fluid that hardens into a scab, thus preventing water loss, which could kill the cactus, as well as waterproofing the inside of the nest cavity.
^ “Gila Woodpecker Fact Sheet”. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
^ “Gila woodpecker”. Nature Conservancy. Archived from the original on 2010-05-02. Retrieved 2011-01-24. Although they do not use them immediately, waiting first for the sap to harden, Gila woodpeckers excavate cavities in cacti and trees as nesting sites. Females typically lay two broods a year of three to five eggs, which incubate for 14 days. Once abandoned, the cavities are occupied by reptiles, rodents, and small birds like kestrels, elf owls, flycatchers, and wrens. In the desert, the woodpeckers perform the important ecological function of removing unhealthy flesh from the saguaro cactus. Some insects on which it feeds carry diseases, harmless to the bird, which damages the cactus and leaves discolorations. The marks signal larvae to the bird, and as it excavates the insects, it also cuts away the diseased tissue. As the sap hardens, the cactus is healed, and the excavation becomes a convenient nesting site.
^ “AZGFD spots first documented bald eagle nest in saguaro”. KGUN. 2020-04-16. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
^ “Bald Eagles, Eaglets Found Nesting in Arms of Arizona Cactus”. The New York Times (in American English). Associated Press. 2020-04-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
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^ “Private Landowners Clearing Protected Native Plants” (PDF). Arizona Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2013.
^ “Arizona Revised Statutes, A.R.S. 3-904.(H): Destruction of protected plants by private landowners; notice; exception”. Arizona State Legislature. Archived from the original on 2018-10-16. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
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a b Mikkelson, David (February 8, 2015), Death by Saguaro, Snopes, retrieved 2017-01-20
^ Trimble, Marshall (2012). “Only On Hold Strange Laws Still On The Books In Arizona”. Tucson News Now. Hold. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
^ Snyder, Stephanie (2010). “Safety of native plants protected under Arizona law”. Chevas Samuels, McKenzie Manning, Stephanie Snyder. Retrieved July 2, 2017. “While damaging a cactus in Arizona will not warrant the rumored possibility of 25 years in prison, it is still considered a class four felony.”
^ Schiermeier, Quirin (2005-06-01). “Pall hangs over desert’s future as alien weeds fuel wildfires”. Nature. 435 (7043): 724. Bibcode:2005Natur.435..724S. doi:10.1038/435724b. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 15944662. S2CID 1678763.
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^ Hauser, A. Scott (1993). “Pennisetum ciliare”. US Forest Service Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Retrieved 2019-10-02.
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^ Greene, Jacqueline Dembar (1998). The Tohono O’Odham. New York: Franklin Watts. ISBN 0531203263. OCLC 36713087.
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Further reading[edit]
Benson, L. (1981). The Cacti of Arizona. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0816505098.
Drezner TD (2005) Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea, Cactaceae) growth rate over its American range and the link to summer precipitation. Southwest Nat 50:65–68.
Felger, Richard; Mary B. Moser. (1985). People of the desert and sea: ethnobotany of the Seri Indians. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0816508181.