Monday, January 11, 2010

The Saguaro Cactus

The Saguaro cactus is truly the grand symbol of the Sonoran Desert, standing tall and majestic, living hundreds of years. The "standard model" of the Saguaro is the single stem with exactly two arms, yet few of them look like that – 99% either have fewer than two or more than two.

Yet in all of the Saguaros that I've seen, this one with nine arms stands out as a truly rare one – seldom is there a Saguaro with that many arms.

On the other hand, the truly rare Saguaro is the crested Saguaro, of which we saw two at the Museum.

A similar, but somewhat larger cactus, is the Cardon Cactus, found in Northern Mexico, both in Sonora and in Baja. It is said to be the largest cactus species in the world.

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