Saguaro National Park
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Saguaro Cactus Photo
© Jim Roth

Saguaro woody center photo
© Jim Roth

Carnegiea gigantea

The Giant Saguaro is the most fascinating plant of the Sonoran Desert. It's skin is tough and waxy and its woody skeleton is concealed inside the plant. The trunk and arms are pleated like an accordion and can expand or contract with the amount of water taken in. In the place of leaves the Saguaro has thousands of spines to shade and protect itself.

Root System,
water retention, photosynthesis

Saguaro roots extend to a diameter of 100 feet ( for a 50-foot-high Saguaro) at a depth of only inches. Tiny hairs absorb even concentrated drizzle or mist. The green, waxy outer covering replaces leaves for its food production. The Accordion pleating allows the truck to expand and contract and is 80 to 90 percent water when filled. Sixty percent of the saguaro's water content can be lost without damage.


Saguaro Cactus Flower Picture
© Jim Roth

Dove eating Saguaro flower photo
© Jim Roth

Saguaro trunk picture
© Jim Roth

Saguaro cactus cristate
© Jim Roth

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