The Sonoran Desert has received over 22' of rain in this monsoon season on 2014. The Saguaro cactus benefits greatly from that rain, as does everything else. If you look closely at the skin of the Saguaro you will see that it is like an accordion. When water is plentiful the cactus sucks it up and its skin expands for more storage. As the dry season progress and the cactus uses its stores of water its skin folds in . I have never traveled through the desert at this time of year before and have never seen the Saguaros so plump and healthy. It was really something to see.
"Saguaros have a relatively long lifespan. They may grow their first side arm any time from 75–100 years of age, but some never grow one at all. A saguaro without arms is called a spear.
The arms are grown to increase the plant's reproductive capacity (more apices lead to more flowers and fruit). The growth rate of saguaros is strongly dependent on precipitation; saguaros in drier western Arizona grow only half as fast as those in and around Tucson, Arizona. Some specimens may live for more than 150 years; the largest known saguaro is the Champion Saguaro growing in Maricopa County, Arizona, and is 13.8 m (45.3 ft) tall with a girth of 3.1 m (10 ft). These cacti can grow from 40 to 60 ft tall. They grow slowly from seed, and never from cuttings. Whenever it rains, saguaros soak up the rainwater. The cactus will visibly expand, holding in the water. It conserves the water and slowly consumes it."
If you would like to read more about this fantastic member of the cactus family click here.
I made a few of these pictures extra large so you could see the detail better.
Until next time.
Evie and Joy