Friday, July 11, 2014

Saguaro Cactus

The saguaro cactus defines the Sonoran Desert, the only place it grows. These are in Cave Creek, Arizona, a western tourist town located a little northeast of Phoenix.

Saguaro cactus can grow up to 60' tall, and have up to 25 arms.  They produce white blossoms in April, then red fruit in June.  The birds love them.

Can you see the round hole in the cactus near the top? That is a bird's nest.  Sometimes, there will be several in a mature cactus.

When I first saw them, I thought that the red was the blossom, but one of the locals informed me that the blossom was white and  long gone by June.  The red petals are part of the fruit that the cactus produces and the birds love.

The local fellow also told me that getting water from a cactus was a bunch of baloney made popular by movie westerns.  The inside, I was told, is similar to a pine tree.  After a cactus dies and the soft flesh decomposes, the woody parts that remain are strong enough to use for fence posts.  Amazing.