Delays expected along Picture Rocks Road
Commuters could face minor delays due to road construction starting on November 20. Workers will be out along the road shoulders trimming brush and salvaging sensitive plant species located along road shoulders, to improve safety along the roadway. More »
Why saguaros have pleats
Because the majority of a saguaro is made up of water, an adult plant may weigh 6 tons or more. This tremendous weight is supported by a circular skeleton of inter-connected, woody ribs. The number of ribs inside the plant correspond to the number of pleats on the outside of the plant. As the saguaro grows, the ribs will occasionally fork and the corresponding pleat will also fork at the same place.
Sometimes saguaros have the chance to soak up a larger than usual amount of water - such as after a large summer rainstorm. The ground can become very soft after such a storm and with the added weight of the new water, the heavy cactus sometimes fall over or lose an arm.
Layers of a saguaro:
epidermis (green part)
cortex or pulp
ribs (with corresponding pleat on surface)
pith (inside the ribs)
Did You Know?
Gila monsters are one of two venomous lizards in the world. The other is the similar Mexican beaded lizard. Gila monster venom evolved as a defensive rather than offensive weapon.