The peas of all the indigenous species are edible. When green, they taste similar to the domesticated pea, but sweeter and firmer. They are rich in Vitamin A. Eat them fresh, in salads, as sprouts, or cooked.
Dry the pods in the sun, rub together to free the seeds, or beat them out, winnow, collect, parch and store them for the winter, or toast, grind, and cook the flour with water. It can be used as gruel with honey, mesquite flour, and sea turtle oil added.
The bark tea is good for arthritis. The trunks and larger branches can be made into ladles or pry bars to uproot agaves. The wood is soft and brittle and burns very quickly, giving off an unpleasant odor and leaving few coals. To seal pottery, boil the ground seeds and skim off the scum, and rub it into the exterior.
Did You Know?
Tonto National Monument averages 15" of rain annually. Snow is a rare occurrence, but as long as temperatures remain above freezing, the saguaros don't seem to mind!