Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Mighty Saguaro

Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is a popular landscape cactus in our region. Often used as a centerpiece in desert gardens, it is also popular for planting in public common areas and in roadway medians.
Rather than buy one large Saguaro, I chose four smaller ones (each about four feet tall) because of the low transplant success rate of large specimens. Saguaros are very slow growing, so they are expensive to purchase, selling for about $100 a foot. I stopped at $2000 for my four.
My brother took this photo of a Saguaro on some raw desert land that he owns. Since it has more than five arms, it is probably approaching 200 years old.

Saguaro Facts

Saguaro cactus, pronounced Sah-wah-roh, grows only in the Sonora Desert.

Its flower, which blooms late April to June, is the Arizona State Flower.

Saguaros can live up to 200 years and reach 50 feet high.

A Saguaro with more than five arms is probably around 200 years old. In the desert, it does not grow arms until it is about 100 years old.

A mature Saguaro can weigh six tons, which is mostly stored water.

Only one seed in 50 million will germinate. Of those, only a few will become a seedling and even fewer will become an adult cactus.

This huge cactus has a taproot that is only about three feet long, and many large roots that grow downward only about one foot deep. Many smaller roots run a distance equal to the cactus’ height.


Mark said...

Hi Aiyana,
That is some serious money for the cactus, still impressive. Like the idea of buying plants by the foot.

Cheers Mark

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Thank you for all the facts on that cactus! That is so cool that that cactus is 200 years old! Have a wonderful day!

Dirty Knees said...

Saguaros are so majestic! I can see why homeowners might like to add them to their landscapes.

Angie said...

What an interesting plant! Seems like with such a small taproot it would tip over easily... but apparently not if it's that old! It looks very tall too. I was noticing the surrounding trees are much smaller.

Have a great GTS!

Julie said...

This is great information! Great cactus too...
I have left the blog playing field...I wasn't too good at it, and need to be up moving around instead of being addicted to sitting, so I hope you won't mind me still stopping by from time to time to say hi! Take good care of your hubby!

Garden Wise Guy said...

As usual, you are a wealth of knowledge. You left one minor point out - they are frequently featured in cartoon that also include hungry, frustrated coyotes, and various other zany characters. Just thought I'd add a bit of scholarly zest to your post today!

kml said...

Wow - I didn't realize that they lived that long! It must be huge!

Anonymous said...

A handsome specimen you've got pictured there. I didn't realize how expensive they are and hope yours do really well.

Ginni Dee said...

What an interesting post! That's one gorgeous cactus!

Thanks for the info.

Happy GTS,

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Wow that really is a big cactus and wow again about how much money you have to fork out to buy one. I had not realised they were that expensive. But if they last for 200 years, it's a good buy. ;-)Good luck with your foursome!!!

verobirdie said...

Gigantea, that is the right word! Really amazing. Thanks for sharing all this information with us.

kate said...

I love the name of this cactus. I didn't realise that it grew so slowly. I hope that your four do well.

That is a cool photograph!

Tere said...

A preciosidad. Here in Spain there is no that type of wonders. Greetings