May 112013

saguaro top in bloom 1728

bouquet of saguaro blossoms 1729

saguaro in bloom 1727

I’ve been saving this theme for Saguaro cactus… this blossom is Arizona’s state flower. The Saguaro cactus is native to the Southwest’s Sonoran Desert which spans from Southern Arizona, Sonora (Mexico), Whipple Mountains (California) and parts of the Imperial Valley (California). There are no wild saguaros anywhere in the western U.S. states of Texas, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, or Nevada, nor in the high deserts of northern Arizona, although it is used for branding or falsely in movies and commercials to convey the Southwest. The Saguaro cactus is one of the reasons we chose to live here.

A saguaro can grow to 75′ tall and live 200 years. A saguaro’s growth is extremely slow. Growth occurs in spurts, with most of it taking place in the summer rainy season each year. By the end of a year, the saguaro seedling may measure only 1/4 inch. After 15 years, the saguaro may be barely a foot tall. At about 30 years saguaro can begin to flower and produce fruits. By 50 years, the saguaro may be as tall as 7 feet. After about 75 years, it may sprout its first branches or “arms.” The branches begin as prickly balls, then extend out and upward.

I never tire of seeing saguaro as they have such personality; like snowflakes, every one is different. Currently the cactus are in bloom in town… but the ones in the desert, not watered by caretakers are slower to have buds or blossoms.   I hope to have a landscape photo of desert cactus in bloom soon.

I’ve taken many photos of these cacti in the past, click here for more.

  5 Responses to “2013-74 CACTUS”

  1. Great series of photos. I really like the close-up of the blooms.

  2. All three are awesome photos…especially the bottom view of the cactus reaching for the sky!

  3. It always amazes me how beautiful of blooms a cactus produces…these are pure eye candy!

  4. They seem huge., careful climbing up for your closeup shots.

  5. What lovely shots! We lived in NM for about 9 years, and there were plenty of cacti, but no saguaros. I think they are the quintessential cactus. The blossoms are really amazing.

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