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Saguaro: Sentinel of the Desert
A selection of portraits of the Park's namesake: the mighty Saguaro Cactus.
Saguaros at Sunset
Saguaro silhouettes stand before the glow of a peerless Arizona sunset
Skeleton of the Grand-daddy Cactus
The woody skeleton of the Grand-daddy cactus, once the world's largest saguaro, lie in the Park's back-country.
A Cristate Saguaro
Now and then -- about once in 50,000 plants -- a saguaro grows an odd "cristate" crown. No one knows what causes this fascinating deformity.
Young saguaros under nurse tree
Saguaros begin life in the shade of a mesquite nurse tree. How many can you count?
Saguaro Fruit Ripens in June
In mid-June the bright red fruits of the saguaro open like a second flower, attracting fruit-eating bats and birds to help spread the seeds.
The spiny surface of a saguaro
The protective spines of a saguaro are thickest over the newset part of the trunk or branch.
Saguaro Cactus Flowers
Saguaro flowers open at night and are visited by nectar feeding bats; birds are atttracted to the nectar by day.
Arizona's State Flower, the saguaro bloom
The blossom of the saguaro has been chosen as the State Flower of Arizona.
Grand-daddy, the largest saguaro
"The Grand-daddy" was considered the world's largest saguaro. Evidences of decay appeared in the early 1990's, and the giant succumbed to old age in the Park's backcountry.
The Scenic Saguaro Forest
Saguaros have a limited range. In the United States only southern Arizona and extreme southwest California harbor these giant cacti.
Saguaros stand guard
Individual saguaros are the most expressive symbols of the Park and the American Southwest.