Southwest Arizona, western Sonora, Mexico, and even a few locations in southeast California are home to saguaro cacti. They are typically found in the northern regions on slopes that face south, where the sun shines more frequently. The Saguaro Cactus is covered in protecting needles and bears a red fruit in the summer as well as tiny white blooms in the late spring.
Only in the Sonoran Desert does the suguaro cactus, also known as Carnegiea Gigantea, flourish.
A Saguaro will only grow about one to one and a half inches in its first eight years.
Moving a saguaro cactus off of private or public land without a permit is against the law in Arizona.
Saguaro cactus roots spread out like an accordion to take in as much water as they can.
Arizona’s state flower is the saguaro bloom, which blooms only after a saguaro has reached the age of 35.
SAGUARO CACTUS FACTS
The saguaro is a unique species of plant that can get rather big yet develops extremely slowly. The saguaro’s weight and height are often astounding, and the plant’s beauty is emblematic and significant to the magnificent state of Arizona.
- Arizona has rules and limitations on the gathering, harvesting, and disposal of these cactus. To learn more about the rules that apply to your region, get in touch with your neighborhood government.
- The Saguaro can survive for 150 to 200 years in the appropriate growing circumstances.
- The cactus has one major root that extends down approximately 2 feet while the remaining roots all extend out till they reach the height of the plant and only go down about 5 inches.
- Saguaro growth is particularly slow. A saguaro may only be 1.5 inches tall after a whole decade of growth. They can potentially grow to a height of 40–60 feet under the right circumstances! After a rainy season, a completely hydrated Saguaro may weigh between 3,200 and 4,800 pounds.
- Arizona legislation allows for the collection of saguaro “ribs,” which are used to create jewelry, furniture, roofs, fences, picture frames, and other things. Even the Native Americans used the ribs as water containers before the canteen was created.
HOW MUCH DOES A CACTUS COST?
According to DFRanchandGardens, the average price of a saguaro cactus in the US for 2020 is between $20 and $2,000 per foot.
The saguaro will cost less the smaller it is, according to osieOnTheHouse. However, if they are merely spears and in good condition, they typically sell for $100 or more per foot. The price of saguaros with arms is higher.
Two species of prickly pear cactus have adapted to thrive along the Hudson River.
Given the current focus on native plants, you’d be excused for shaking your head if you came upon a cactus on a nearby hike and assumed it wasn’t native. However, there is a surprise: two varieties of cactus that appear to be adapted for the desert may really grow in the Hudson Valley. Prickly pears are the only cacti endemic to New York State, and parts of the area are home to two different kinds.
These prickly pears have green spiked pads that look like they belong in the arid, rocky environments of the Southwest, and their early summer blooms are a bright yellow color. Instead, you can locate them in areas along the river like the Hudson Highlands, Sugarloaf Hill, and others.
Opuntia humifusa and Opuntia cespitosa, two different species of cactus belonging to the Optunia genus, can be found in New York; the latter was just recently classified as a unique species within the state. In fact, until they are in bloom, it can be challenging to distinguish between the two species. Optunia cespitosa flowers have an orange or crimson core.
Although the majority of the Opuntia cespitosa is primarily found in more limestone areas to the south-west of Kingston, they are still somewhat apart. Steve Young, a botanist with the New York Natural Heritage Program, claims that the humifusa is the other species and that it may be found along the Hudson River from Columbia County all the way down to Long Island. The Opuntia (prickly pear) cactus genus contains several dozen species that are found throughout much of the country, from the South up the East Coast and even into areas of New England.
The prickly pears are similar to their desert cousins in that they have thick, water-filled stems and spines, but because to a particular chemical that acts like antifreeze in their cells, the prickly pears are exceptionally resistant to the bitter Northeast winters. Although Opuntia cespitosa is often the more uncommon of the two species in New York, Tabak notes that the two species’ growing ranges frequently overlap. Both species are confusingly referred to as “prickly pears.” Optunia humifusa is also known as devil’s tongue and the Eastern prickly pear.
Prickly pear can grow in the more temperate coastal habitat brought about by the marine warmth carried up the Hudson. The cactus prefers stony, dry soil, so it’s unclear if the warmer temperatures brought on by climate change would be a boon or a bane for it.
We don’t anticipate that the state will suddenly become as dry as Arizona, where there are many desert regions, according to Tabak.
In fact, we anticipate that climate change will result in higher moisture levels. Therefore, if there is rocky habitat, I would anticipate it may kind of crawl up along the Hudson. The problem is that the shorelines of the Hudson tend to be less stony as you travel north.
Eastern prickly pear cultivars can be grown in a garden or planter, and the pears—fascinatingly, also referred to as prickly pear “tunas”—are edible. The red fruits have a subtle sweetness that, with the correct preparation, may be transformed into jams, sweets, or even drinks. (Hudson Valley Brewery in Beacon has even been known to add prickly pears to its beer, though the pears weren’t always local.)
The Hudson Valley does not have many of these cacti, so it is not advisable to harvest them wild because doing so could harm the populations. Just be sure to wear thick gloves if you have a cultivated prickly pear in your garden; otherwise, you’ll find out why it’s called the “devil in the devil’s-tongue.”