Arizona State Flower
Saguaro Cactus (common name)
Carnegiea gigantea (scientific name)
The blossom of the tree-sized saguaro cactus is a distinctive desert flower, fragrant and creamy white with a yellow center. It blooms for a very short period, opening during the night and closing the following afternoon. The stem of the saguaro cactus is columnar and thick, with a diameter of 18–24 in (46–61 cm). When it absorbs water, it expands, increasing its diameter significantly. The stems and trunk of the cactus have thick 2-inch (0.8 cm) spines protruding from the ribs, while the skin is smooth and waxy. The large capacity of the cactus to store water enables the saguaro flowers to blossom every year even if there is no rain. The growth of saguaro cacti is slow, about one inch (0.4 cm) every year. Saguaro flowers bear fruit, which ripens in late June.
Mature Height: Average of 30 ft (9 m); up to 45 ft (14 m)
Flowering: April to May
Flowers: 3 in (7.6 cm) wide, in clusters at the branch ends
Flower Color: White and yellow
Fruit/Seed Color: Ruby-colored fruit with thousands of tiny black seeds
Location: Semi-arid desert
Range: Endemic to the Sonoran Desert (Arizona), Sonora (Mexican state), and a few areas of California.
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|Author: World Trade Press|