In Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, and in Mexico, grows the
largest cactus in the world. It is called the Saguaro Cactus. It
is an amazing cactus that lives to be as old as 200 years! They
grow to be as tall as 60 feet! That is taller than many trees!
This also is Arizona's state flower.
At the age of 5 years, the Saguaro is only about one inch tall. It takes about 37 years for it to grow to be 9 feet tall. This is about the time it gets its first blossoms. If the cactus is fertilized, it actually develops a fruit that is said to taste similar to watermelon. But watch out for all of the seeds! Each fruit produces about 1,000 seeds!
Some interesting things about this cactus is that it has arms. However, the Saguaro Cactus doesn't even grow arms until it is between the ages of 64 to 94 years old! It is the only cacti that grows arms. Each arm can produce many, many seeds. The more arms it has, the more seeds it produces.
A large Saguaro can retain enough water during a wet summer, to last an entire year without rain again! The cactus' that manage to do this, weigh up to a ton!
Many birds use the Saguaro Cactus for their homes. Woodpeckers drill holes in the top of them creating a nesting place. It also is a shelter to get the birds out of the direct sunlight.
Resource: It's God's World - Volume 15 - Number 20 - March 1, 1996