USA Newspapers Official Arizona State Flower

Saguaro Cactus Blossom

(Cereus giganteus)
Adopted on March 16, 1931.

The Saguaro Blossom,  Cereus giganteus, was adopted as the floral emblem of the Arizona Territory on March 8, 1901, and officially confirmed as the state flower by the Legislature on March 16, 1931. Prior to its adoption, a saguaro cactus appeared on the first territorial seal of Arizona in 1863.

The fragrant, waxy white saguaro blossom is one of the most unique State flowers. In May and June, the Cactus bears creamy white flowers with yellow centers that measured about three inches. The Saguaro Cactus flower can be found on the end of the branches. The flower only opens on cooler nights and is closed during the heat of midday. However, it's not easy to see the beautiful, creamy white, trumpet-shaped flowers inasmuch as they open only at night and last only about 18 hours. The flowers are sweetly scented and attract bees and flies through its blooming season of May and June. By July, the flowers become red-fleshed fruits that feed doves migrating from Mexico.

The saguaro cactus has been described as the monarch of the Sonoran Desert, as a prickly horror, as the supreme symbol of the American Southwest, and as a plant with personality. nto the Rincon and West Tucson mountains

The Saguaro is renowned for the variety of odd, all-too-human shapes it assumes, shapes that inspire wild and fanciful imaginings.

Saguaro are found only in the Sonoran desert. The giant saguaro is the king of cacti. A full-grown saguaro is usually more than 35 feet in height and is at least 75 years old, sometimes reaching a height of 50 feet and life span of 200 years. Some have arms but all are green and have a wax-like skin that helps prevent water loss. Rare and endangered this extraordinary giant cactus has been protected within Saguaro National Park since 1933 .

The saguaro fruit has long been used by the Papago and Pima Indians who harvest the fruits and make syrup.

Saguaro seeds contain the psychoactive alkaloids Carnegine and Arizonine. The Saguaro is a relatively fast growing cactus Also known, as Saguaro is the most famous giant cactus of the world. Can grow up to 12 M height. Saguaro wine is used for rain rituals. The pulp can be boiled down or fermented, witch gives you sweet, brown syrup. This can be mixed with water or alcohol, which gives you Saguaro beer or wine.

 

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons
Subclass Caryophyllidae –
Order Caryophyllales –
Family Cactaceae – Cactus family
Genus Carnegia Britt. & Rose – saguaro
Species Carnegia gigantea (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose  saguaro ple P