Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Saguaro Reaches for the Clouds

This mighty Saguaro cactus reaches to the clouds in the blue sky on this beautiful sunny day.  Saguaros are one of my favorite cactus, and they are an icon for Arizona.

To see the Saguaro cactus spines from an earlier photo I posted, 
click here.  Tomorrow's photo will show you what the inside of a Saguaro looks like and how it is used.

Saguaros are like big trees and they can have many arms like the one in the photo.  It takes about 75 years to grow one side arm. Saguaros can live up to about 150 years.  They are protected by state law, but we still have poachers and others who do them harm.  Saguaros can grow to 45 feet (13.7 meters) in height, and weigh 100 pounds (45 kg) per foot (.3 meters) of height

Saguaros grow in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico.  They are not found in Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, or Colorado, even though marketing folks use the Saguaro for brands in those Western states.  The name Saguaro is a Spanish language adaptation of the word that the Tohono O'odham used to identify the cactus.

The Saguaro flower is Arizona's state flower and blooms in April through June.  The large flowers are white and open at night, which means bats are the pollinator.
 
The Saguaro fruit is large, ruby in color and juicy. The fruit is sweet and when  it is dried, it can be chewed like candy or cooked into a syrup. The seeds from the fruit can be used in cooking, such as like poppy seeds.  There are over 2,000 seeds in one fruit.   The Native Americans have harvested this fruit for thousands of years.  

20 comments:

cieldequimper said...

Great shot! It looks like an angel or a cathedral!

Olivier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olivier said...

avec cette perspective, on dirait un personnage de western ;o)
with this angle, they would say a figure of western ;o)

brattcat said...

What a majestic perspective. Were you on the ground when you shot this or is this one of those 45 footers?

Sharon said...

A very handsome specimen.

MurciaDailyPhoto and www.asthes.tk said...

It seems that the cactus was asking the sky water, please.

mo_inoh said...

We had some chairs made from the wood from the sauaro. Before moving to AZ I never knew that there was wood inside. great Picture

Lois said...

I never realized how really big these are until I posed for a picture one time standing next to one. I like the angle on this shot!

Lisa Wilson said...

This is a beautiful shot! I've still never seen a saguaro in person.

Jarart said...

Nice one, looks familiar. Is this at the Botanical Gardens? I have a shot that looks exactly like this!

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Many years ago my secretary got a permit from the Forest Service to dig up a saguaro and transplant it from an area of the desert that was going to be flooded by the enlargement of a dam. She got me and 7 other guys to help. It was quite an experience.

There is no tap root. The roots are about an inch or two below the surface (where else would the there be water in the ground in the desert). THe roots extend out about the same distance as the cactus is tall.

We cut the roots by digging a circle with a shovel around the cactus. After that, the cactus was ready to be tipped over, which was very tricky to do gently.

We lashed it to an aluminum ladder that was strapped to iron poles and covered with carpeting to prevent injury to the plant, and then lowered it down with ropes.

JM said...

Gorgeous! Wonderful perspective! One of these would be too much for my balcony! :-)))

Marie-Noyale said...

I do enjoy when I learn something from my little visits!! Thank you.

Jackie said...

Wow, that's a monster! What a fantastic picture!

Jacob said...

My first thought was, "Let us pray!"

Nice shot!

Tash said...

Always a majestic sight, a classic photograph. Well done.

Ming the Merciless said...

That is a GREAT photo. Initially, I thought you were laying on the ground and taking the photo from root up. But then you said the cactus can grow up to 45 feet high. WOW!

I love the 'looking up' perspective.

angela said...

What a great shot. It really emphasises the size of the plant. 75 years to grow one side arm is a long time...

Nathalie said...

I hope you'll show us the saguaro flower and fruit in due course, this plant looks like there's much to it.

Sorry for not visiting every day, I enjoyed catching up on your Arabian horse series and .... oh that Chihuly glass sculpture shot! You were spoiled on glass theme day!

Vogon Poet said...

Very interesting post and beatiful photo, now I'm jumping straight to the today's post!

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