This is the signature plant of the Sonoran Desert : it does not exist anywhere else in the world It is a tall column-shaped cactus with pleated stems. It can grow to 40' (12m) .
The waxy, tough coat minimises loss of water by evaporation. It can live up to 200 years. However, they can be damaged sometimes by sudden frosts, lightning, high winds. Smaller saguaros live under 'nurse' plants, which provide shelter during the early years
The seeds swallowed by animals and birds pass through their digestive system unharmed. When deposited under trees and shrubs they are given a chance to germinate. Harvester ants gather seeds by the million, and store them in an underground food reservoir, too deep for the seeds to sprout.
Fortunately, the Saguaro produces enough seeds to more than compensate for this loss