Carnegiea gigantea

Accession Count: 117
Common Name: Saguaro
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Family Name: Cactaceae
Botanical Name: Carnegiea gigantea
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics:
Compound: Car gig
Geographic Origin: Desert Southwest
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin: Sonoran Desert
Natural History: The
Saguaro is the only plant in the Carnegiea
genus. It was named after Andrew Carnegie (1).The Saguaro only grows in the
Sonoran Desert: it can be found in Arizona, Mexico and a small part of southern
California (2). It is the largest cactus in the United States and it is
estimated that these cacti can live to be 150-200 years old (2).The Saguaro is known
for having large spines, white flowers and red fruits (3). 
Cultivation Notes: The
Saguaro requires very little water. It is suggested to only occasionally water
the plant during its growing season and not at all during monsoon season (1). Young saguaros will usually require shading to ensure they do not burn in the
heat of the sun (1). Otherwise, the Saguaro is perfectly fine to live in full
sunlight and dry conditions due to its ability to store water in its fleshy
stems (3).
Ethnobotany: Native
Americans have been known to use the Saguaro cactus for several different uses.
They would eat the fruits and make drinks out of them (4). Additionally, they
would use the body of the cactus as shelter framework, roofing and firewood
(4). Several animals also make use of the Saguaro in the wild. Some birds, such
as Woodpeckers, build nests on the trunk of the Saguaro and after the
Woodpeckers leave the nests, often other birds and owls will use the vacant nests
(3). Many species of wildlife also eat the fruits of the Saguaro (4).

Height: 50 - 100 feet
Width: 6 - 10 feet
Growth Rate: Slow Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: ForeSummer
Color: White
Function: Accent
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Semi-hardy
Water Use: Low water Use
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Carnegiea gigantea