Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton & Rose
Saguaro, Saguaro Cactus, Sahuaro, Giant Cactus, Sage of the Desert
Cereus giganteus (basionym), Pilocereus engelmannii, Pilocereus giganteus
Carnegiea gigantea is a tall, tree-like, columnar in form cactus, up to 65 feet (20 m) tall. The ribbed stem can reach up to 2.5 feet (75 cm) in diameter. It is the largest columnar cactus native to the United States but is extremely slowly-growing, reaching only 0.24 inch (0.6 cm) tall after two years. It flowers once it has reached about 30–35 years of age and a height of about 6.6 feet (2 m). The first branches appear after it has reached a height of about 16.5 feet (5 m) and an age of 50 – 70 years. The white flowers appear just below the top of the stem and they are up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. The edible, red, fleshy fruits are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. The Saguaro blossom is the State Wildflower of Arizona.
How to Grow and Care
Saguaro cactus needs to grow in well-drained grit and receive low levels of water, with the soil drying out completely between irrigation. Annually fertilizing with cactus food in spring will help the plant complete its growth cycle. There are common cactus pests, such as scale and mealybugs, that will require manual or chemical controls.It is not legal to procure a Saguaro cactus for home cultivation by digging it out of the desert. Beyond that, mature Saguaro cactus plants almost always die when transplanted… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for a Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)
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