The Nature of Arizona: An Introduction to Familiar Plants, Animals & Outstanding Natural Attractions / Edition 2 available in Paperback
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PALMS, YUCCAS AND CACTI
These common desert plants are familiar sights since most have been widely transplanted in urban areas. All are evergreen and differ from other trees by having trunks that lack growth rings.
Saguaro, Carnegiea gigantean
Size: To 50 ft. (15 m)
Description: Upright, stout trunk is ribbed vertically. Trunk usually grows 'arms' when 50-100 years old. Waxy white flowers bloom in May and are succeeded by fleshy red fruits in June.
Habitat: Rocky desert soils in southern Arizona.
Comments: The symbol of southwestern deserts, the saguaro is an important food source and nesting site for desert animals including woodpeckers, martins, owls, lizards and wood rats, to name a few. The fruits are used to make jellies and wine.