Carnegiea (Cereus) gigantea
The vast desert metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, appears below this saguaro perched on the slopes of Shaw Butte, part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. This June 2002 photo shows clusters of green fruit near the arm tips.
Blooming from May to June
Calloused galleries created by Cactoborsis larvae:
The callus on the left offers a curious twist in that the "escape hatch" is
missing. Something killed the larva before it completed its development and
before it could create the hatch. Most likely this was a parasitic wasp. The
wasp matured within the Cactobrosis but used an alternate method of
escape. Other calloused structures are also left behind after a saguaro has
disintegrated. The most familiar is called a "saguaro boot". Once a gila
woodpecker has hollowed out a nest, the saguaro heals over the injury creating
a tough boot-shaped structure. Heavily impregnated with lignin it resists decay
and can offer nest holes to hundreds of birds through the life of the cactus.
UNMISTAKABLE: The Saguaro Cactus is unmistakable, at least within
Arizona. One of the Barrel Cactus species might look like a young, unbranched
saguaro cactus, except for the barrel's larger circumference than a saguaro of
the same height. But, also, the
Cactaceae -- Cactus Family
Hundreds of small black seeds are embedded in each bright red, juicy, fruit.
A Saguaro Boot, a former Gila Woodpecker nest hole.
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