It is that wonderful time of year again when the Sonoran Desert, of which Scottsdale is a part of, begins to bloom. Wildflowers sprout up everywhere and all of the unassuming desert plants that have been quietly waiting all year, sprout the loveliest flowers in bright colors. When the colors contrast with Arizona’s bright blue sky, the result is simply beautiful.
BLOOMING SAGUARO – When people picture Arizona, one of the most common things that comes to mind is the distinctive saguaro cactus, easily identifiable by its multiple arms pointing in every direction. On this particular saguaro, each and every arm of this towering cactus in North Scottsdale is abloom. Incidentally, the lovely white Saguaro blossom is Arizona’s State Wildflower. They can also bloom in yellow, but white is the most common color seen. The flowers tend to bloom at night, which means Scottsdale residents wake up to a seasonal, beautiful display of cactus flowers.
The blooming season for saguaros is April through June and during that time, many animals including bees, mourning doves and bats, help with the pollination efforts. Once the short-lived flowers have come and gone, they develop into a red fruit that is full of seeds and is a favorite of many local birds and other desert dwellers.
ABOUT THE SAGUARO CACTUS– The saguaro cactus is native to the Sonoran Desert and can only be found in Arizona, parts of Northern Mexico and a very small area in California. Saguaros tend to grow very slowly and it can take upwards of 70 years for one of the side arms to grow. Some of these cacti can live to 150 years. The tallest known saguaro is located in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, Scottsdale and many other towns, and it comes in at over 45 feet tall.
Because the saguaro is such an important part of the Sonoran Desert landscape, many protective measures have been put into place to insure their survival. If you happen to be driving around a new development in Scottsdale and see a large cluster of saguaros right next to each other, they are saguaros that were relocated for the development and will be replanted as soon as the development is complete. From what I understand, they have to be planted in the exact same orientation in which they originally grew when they are replanted in order to thrive again.
If you have a chance to visit Scottsdale or the Sonoran Desert in the Spring, be sure to look for the impressive saguaros in bloom.