Saguaro cactus in Arizona

Saguaros

Saguaros are the giant, classicly shaped cacti that characterise the deserts of Arizona and Mexico. They absorb and store huge amounts of water after the summer rains, which can increase the weight of a large speciment by 750-900kg. The stored water enables the saguaro to flower every year, even if the rainfall has been lower than average. They are pollinated by bats, birds and bees, with the seeds dispersed by birds that eat the juicy, red fruits.

Did you know?
It can take a saguaro cactus over 75 years to develop a side arm.

Scientific name: Carnegiea gigantea

Rank: Species

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Distribution

The Saguaros can be found in a number of locations including: North America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Saguaros distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Desert Desert
Desert and dry scrubland describes any area that receives less than 250mm of rainfall a year. Not just the endless, baking sand dunes of popular conception, it includes arid areas in temperate regions.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Plants
  3. Flowering plants
  4. Dicotyledons
  5. Caryophyllales
  6. Cactaceae
  7. Carnegiea
  8. Saguaros

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • This is Planet Earth This is Planet Earth

    Narrated by Sir David Attenborough Planet Earth was the ground-breaking series that explored the wild and beautiful parts of our planet like never before.

  • The wildlife of Life The wildlife of Life

    In autumn 2009, a major new series brought us life as we've never seen it before.

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