Ecology of the Saguaro: II
NPS Scientific Monograph No. 8
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Warren F. Steenbergh and Lupe P. Hendrickson
National Park Service, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Arizona, Tucson


This bibliography is a revision of "The saguaro giant cactus: A bibliography" Steenbergh (1974), and includes titles that have come to our attention since that bibliography was originally compiled in 1972.

Since the time of their first arrival in the Sonoran Desert, explorers and naturalists have been intrigued by the saguaro giant cactus (Cereus giganteus Engelm., Carnegiea gigantea [Engelm.] Britt. and Rose). As a major plant dominant in this subtropical desert, the saguaro has been the subject of continuing observations and reports, and in many ways it has proved to be an excellent organism for experimental research.

We offer here a compilation of references that have come to our attention in the course of our investigations on the ecology of the saguaro for the use of researchers, interpreters, natural resource managers, and others who have an interest in the extensive literature on the saguaro.

We have endeavored to provide a comprehensive list of the scientific literature on the saguaro. In addition, we have included selected historical and nontechnical reports containing original observations on the species.

The list also includes a selected representation of the numerous more recent, nontechnical and interpretive articles that have appeared in popular magazines. We have not, however, attempted to provide a comprehensive compilation of such titles.

An asterisk indicates references that we have been unable to obtain for examination but which seem likely to contain basic information or interesting commentary.

The literature on the saguaro is widely scattered and may well include important references that we have overlooked. The authors will greatly appreciate advice of any such omissions that may be recognized by the users of this bibliography.


The development of this bibliography has depended heavily upon the efforts of numerous organizations and individuals. These importantly include Mary Sherman Caldwell, Patricia Paylore, and other members of the staff of the University of Arizona Office of Arid Lands Studies who generously shared information resulting from their research.

We are grateful to the staff members of the University of Arizona Reference Library who were always ready to provide helpful suggestions in our search for material which proved difficult to locate.

We thank Charles H. Lowe for directing our attention to numerous important references that he has identified during the course of his continuing investigations on the ecology of the saguaro cactus.

We are indebted to Larry W. Mitich and Jan G. Bruhn for generously allowing us to examine a prepublication draft of their independently developed bibliography on the saguaro cactus, for calling our attention to references not included in the original edition of this bibliography on the saguaro, and for providing copies of difficult to obtain publications.

The assistance of the superintendents and staff members of Saguaro and Organ Pipe Cactus national monuments is gratefully acknowledged. To the National Park Service, we are indebted for the support of this project.


An extensive literature search for reference citations included, but was not limited to, the following source material:

Bibliography of Agriculture, vol. 1, July-December 1942 through vol. 37, no. 9, September 1973.

Biological Abstracts, vol. 1, 1927 through vol. 56, no. 3, August 1973.

Botanical Abstracts, vol. I through XV.

Botany Subject Index, October 1958.

Cactus Succulent Journal, July 1929 to May 1974.

Official Files, Saguaro National Monument.

Publications Related to the Work of the Desert Botanical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1903-1940. Compiled under the direction of W. G. McGinnies with the assistance of Patricia Paylore and Karin Metrock. Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, 1968.

Seventy-five Years of Arid Lands Research at the University of Arizona. A Selective Bibliography, 1891 - 1965. Compiled by Patricia Paylore.

AGURELL, S., J. G. BRUHN, and K. SHETH. 1972. Structure and biosynthesis of alkaloids in Carnegiea gigantea. Part 1. Pages 275-278 In 4th Int. Symp. Biochem. Physiol. Alkaloide, 25-28 June 1969. Abh. Deut. Akad. Wiss. Berlin.

ALCORN, S. M. 1961a. Natural history of the saguaro. Univ. Arizona Arid Lands Colloq. 1959-60/1960-6l:23-29.

ALCORN, S. M. 1961b. Some hosts of Erwinia carnegieana. Plant Dis. Rep. 45(8):587-590.

ALCORN, S. M. 1966. The saguaro cactus in Arizona. Am. Hort. Mag. 45(3):286-295.

ALCORN, S. M., and E. B. KURTZ, JR. 1959. Some factors affecting the germination of seed of the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). Am. J. Bot. 46(7):526-529.

ALCORN, S. M., and C. MAY. 1962. Attrition of a saguaro forest. Plant Dis. Rep. 46(3):156-158.

ALCORN, S. M., S. E. MCGREGOR, and G. OLIN. 1961. Pollination of saguaro cactus by doves, nectar-feeding bats, and honey bees. Science 133(3464):1594-1595.

ALCORN, S. M., S. E. MCGREGOR, G. D. BUTLER, JR., and E. B. KURTZ, JR. 1959. Pollination requirements of the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). Cactus Succulent J. 31(2):39-41.

ALLEN, M. J. 1932. A study of the pubescence of cacti. M.S. Thesis. Univ. Arizona, Tucson. 45 pp.

ANONYMOUS. 1899. Cereus giganteus cristatus. Cactus J. 2:84.

ANONYMOUS. 1902. A wonderful plant doomed. Plant World 5:12-13.

ANONYMOUS. 1909. Cereus giganteus. Tribune Hort. (Paris) 4:243, 250.

ANONYMOUS. 1910. The plant life of the Arizona desert. Scot. Geogr. Mag. 26(1):9-17.

ANONYMOUS. 1922. The giant cactus. Mo. Bot. Gard. Bull. 10:117-118; pl. 17.

ANONYMOUS. 1941. Government wages war on mysterious germ killing Arizona's giant cactus. Life Mag. 11(24):38-39.

ANONYMOUS. 1963. The saguaro: Pronounced sa-war-o: (Cereus giganteus). Pages 6-7 in Desert vegetation around Tucson, Arizona. Tucson Chamber of Commerce Service Bull.

BACKEBERG, C. 1950. Nova genera et subgenera. Cactus Succulent J. 22(5):153-154.

BARDSLEY, W. A. 1957. Will science save the saguaro? Pac. Discovery 10(3):24-29.

BAXTER, D. V. 1940. Some resupinate polypores from the region of the Great Lakes. XII. Pap. Mich. Acad. Sci. Arts Lett. 26:107-122; 7 pl.

BAXTER, E. M. 1932. California cacti: Carnegiea gigantea—giant cactus. Cactus Succulent J. 3(8):134-135.

BEATTY, L. D. 1955. Autecology of the longnose bat, Leptonycteris nivalis (Saussure). M.S. Thesis. Univ. Arizona, Tucson. 51 pp.

BENSON, L. 1940. The cacti of Arizona. Univ. Ariz. Biol. Sci. Bull. 5. 134 pp.

BENSON, L. 1950. The cacti of Arizona. 2nd ed. Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson. 134 pp.; 29 plates.

BENSON, L. 1969. The cacti of Arizona. 3rd ed. Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson. 218 pp.

BERRY, J. W., and C. STEELINK. 1961. Chemical constituents of the saguaro. Univ. Arizona Arid Lands Colloq. 1959-60/1960-61:39-45.

BERRY, J. W., A. HO, and C. STEELINK. 1960. Constituents of the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). I. Proximate analysis of the woody tissues. J. Org. Chem. 25:1267-1268.

BESSEY, C. E. 1914. Stamens and ovules of Carnegiea gigantea. Science, n.s. 40:680.

BIGELOW, J., JR. 1887. After Geronimo. Installment XIII. Outing 9(6):515-525.

BIGELOW, J., JR. 1958. On the bloody trail of Geronimo. Westernlore Press. Los Angeles, Calif. 237 pp.

BINGHAM, S. B. 1963. Vegetation-soil relationships in two stands of the Cercidium-Carnegiea community of the Sonoran Desert. M.S. Thesis. Univ. Arizona, Tucson. 84 pp.

BLANC, A. 1890. A wonderland of cactuses. Am. Gard. 11(9):526-530.

BLANC, A. 1891. Hints on cacti. Philadelphia, Pa. 112 pp.

BLUMER, J. C. 1909. Observations on cacti in cultivation. Plant World 12(7):162-164.

BLYDENSTEIN, J., C. R. HUNGERFORD, G. I. DAY, and R. R. HUMPHREY. 1957. Effect of domestic livestock exclusion on vegetation in the Sonoran Desert. Ecology 38:522-526.

BONKER, F., and J. J. THORNBER. 1930. The sage of the desert and other cacti. The Stratford Co., Boston, Mass. 106 pp.

BOOTH, J. A. 1964. An investigation of a saguaro seedling disease. Ph.D. Thesis. Univ. Arizona, Tucson. 63 pp.

BOOTH, J. A, and S. M. ALCORN. 1959. Seedling rot of Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose caused by Fusarium spp. Plant Dis. Rep. 43(9):1038-1041.

BOYLE, A. M. 1948. Further studies of the bacterial necrosis of the giant cactus. Ph.D. Thesis. Univ. Arizona, Tucson. 40 pp.

BOYLE, A. M. 1949. Further studies of the bacterial necrosis of the giant cactus. Phytopathology 39(12):1029-1052.

BRITTON, N. L., and J. N. ROSE. 1908. A new genus of Cactaceae. N.Y. Bot. Gard. J. 9(107):185-188.

BRITTON, N. L., and J. N. ROSE. 1919-23. The Cactaceae: Descriptions and illustrations of plants of the cactus family. Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. 248. 4 vols. (Reprinted 1963 by Dover Publisher, New York, 2 vols.)

BROWN, J. G. 1953. Antibiotics in relation to some bacterial diseases of plants. Proc. Seventh Int. Bot. Congr., Stockholm, July 12-20, 1950:449.

BROWN, J. G., and A. M. BOYLE. 1944. Effect of penicillin on a plant pathogen. Phytopathology 34:760-761; photos.

BROWN, J. G., and M. M. EVANS. 1933. The natural occurrence of crown gall on the giant cactus, Carnegiea gigantea. Science 78(2017):167-168.

BROWN, J. G., L. S. GILL, P. C. LIGHTLE, and D. M. HEEP. 1942. Bacterial necrosis of the giant cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). Phytopathology 32(1):21. (Abstr.)

BROWN, S. D., J. L. MASSINGILL, JR., and J. E. HODGKINS. 1968. Cactus alkaloids. Phytochemistry 7:2031-2036.

BROWN, S. D., J. E. HODGKINS, J. L. MASSINGILL, JR., and M. G. REINECKE. 1972. The isolation, structure, synthesis, and absolute configuration of the cactus alkaloid gigantine. J. Org. Chem. 37(11):1825-1828.

BRUHN, J. G. 1971. Carnegiea gigantea: The saguaro and its uses. Econ. Bot. 25(3):320-329.

BRUHN, J. G., U. SVENSSON, and S. AGURELL. 1970. Biosynthesis of tetrahydro-isoquinoline alkaloids in Carnegiea gigantea Br. & R. Acta Chem. Scand. 24(10):3775-3777.

BRUM, G. D., JR. 1972. Ecology of the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea): Phenology and establishment in marginal populations. M.S. Thesis. Univ. California, Riverside. 42 pp.

BRYAN, W. C. 1951. Bacterial rot of giant cactus (Cereus giganteus). Plants Gard. 7(2):146-148.

BURGESS, R. L. 1961. The phytosociological measurement of giant saguaro. Ecol. Soc. Am. Bull. 42(1):157. (Abstr. of 15-min. talk)

BUTLER, G. D., JR., and P. H. JOHNSON. 1969. The development of Cactobrosis fernaldialis and Albareda parabates in relation to temperature (Lepidoptera Pyralidae). Pan-Pac. Entomol. 45:266-269.

BUTLER, G. D., JR., and F. G. WERNER. 1965. Light-trap records of three cactus-eating moths in Arizona (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae, Phycitinae). Pan-Pac. Entomol. 41:10-12.

CALDWELL, R.L. 1966. A biochemical investigation of callus tissue in the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea ((Engelm.) Brit. and Rose). Ph.D. Thesis. Univ. Arizona, Tucson. 121 pp.

CANNON, W. A. 1906. Biological relations of certain cacti. Am. Nat. 40(469):27-47.

CANNON, W. A. 1908. The topography of the chlorophyll apparatus in desert plants. Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. 98, pt. 1. 42 pp.

CANNON, W. A. 1909. The root system of Cereus giganteus. Pages 59-66 in V. M. Spalding, Distribution and movements of desert plants. Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. 113.

CANNON, W. A. 1911. The root habits of desert plants. Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. 131. 96 pp.

CANNON, W. A. 1912. Some features of the root-systems of the desert plants. Popular Sci. 81:90-99.

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CASTETTER, E. F., and W. H. BELL. 1937. Ethnobiological studies in the American Southwest. IV. The aboriginal utilization of the tall cacti in the American Southwest. Univ. New Mexico Bull. 307:1-27

CATER, M. B. 1944. Roosting habits of martins at Tucson, Arizona. Condor 46(1):l5-18, 2 figs.

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COOPER, J. G. 1895. On the distribution of the forests and trees of North America, with notes on its physical geography. Pages 246-280 in Annual Rep. Smithsonian Inst. for the year 1858. Washington, D.C.

COOPER, J. W. 1964. Genetic and cytological studies of Drosophila nigrospiracula in the Sonoran Desert. M.S. Thesis. Univ. Arizona, Tucson, 40 pp.

CROSS, S. P., and W. HUIBREGTSE. 1964. Unusual roosting site of Eptesicus fuscus. J. Mammal. 45(4):628.

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CUTAK, L. 1934. The passing of the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) at the garden. Mo. Bot. Gard. Bull. 22:185-186, pl. 53.

CUTAK, L. 1939. Sacred tree of the Papago Indians. Mo. Bot. Gard. Bull. 27:197-201; pl. 40,41.

CUTAK, L. 1945. The night-blooming cereus and its allies. Cactus Succulent J. 17(9):1-16 15 figs. (Reprinted from Mo. Bot. Gard. Bull. 33(5). 1945)

DAVIDSON, R. W., and J. L. MIELKE 1947. Fomes robustus, a heart-rot fungus on cacti and other desert plants. Mycologia 39(2):210-217.

DESPAIN, D. G. 1967. The survival of saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) seedlings on soils of differing albedo, cover, and temperature. M.S. Thesis. Univ. Arizona, Tucson. 57 pp.

DESPAIN, D. G., L. C. BLISS, and J. S. BOYER. 1970. Carbon dioxide exchange in saguaro seedlings. Ecology 51(5):9 12-914.

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GILBERTSON, R. L., and E. R. CANFIELD. 1972. Poria carnegiea and decay of saguaro cactus in Arizona. Mycologia 64(6):1300-131l.

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KURTZ, E. B., JR., and S. M. ALCORN. 1960. Some germination requirements of saguaro cactus seeds. Cactus Succulent J. 32(3):72-74.

KURTZ, E. B., JR., and S. M. ALCORN. 1962. Big saguaros from little seeds grow. Univ. Arizona, Coil. Agric., Prog. Agric. Ariz. 14(5):7. (Reprinted Cactus Succulent J. 35:43-44, 1963.)

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