Arizona might be best known for its deserts and open landscapes, but the natural beauty of this great land is not totally devoid of greenery and life. The dry, arid climate and sandy soil means succulents are the best options for gardens in the state, and perhaps it is for this reason that the Saguaro Cactus blossom was selected as the state flower of Arizona.
The Saguaro cactus is a tree-sized cactus plant that is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. The tall, armed cactus is found also in a small region of Mexico and a very small part of California meaning the cactus truly calls southern and central Arizona home. This giant cactus has a special place in the heart of the sturdy Arizonians. Taking up to 75 years to even develop an arm the cactus are famous for, these large specimens are long-term additions to the landscape living up to 150 years.
Saguaro Cactus Blossoms
The blossoms of the Saguaro Cactus are night-blooming, a distinct difference from many of the other state flowers. The cactus blossoms appear in the cool evenings and the flowers come only in April and May. The blossoms remain open in the early morning hours making them easier to enjoy and giving animals such as bats a chance to pollinate the flowers.
Saguaro cactus blossoms are a glossy white and are waxy to the touch, much like many other succulent blooms. The blossoms were made the state flower of Arizona after much discussion in March, 1901. It was officially decreed, “The pure white waxy flower of the Cereus Giganteus (Giant Cactus) or Sahuara, shall be the state flower of Arizona.” The spelling of the Saguaro cactuses was changed from Sahuara over the years bringing the state flower to the current spelling.
Growing Saguaro Cactus Blossoms
The saguaro cactus grows naturally only in certain locations of Arizona and surrounding areas. Special permits are required to destroy the cactus if they are located in a build location. Growing Saguaro Cactus is an investment in patience. Plant saguaro cactus seeds in a pot away from direct sunlight. Water every 10-30 days and in a year or two your cactuses can be moved to their own containers to continue growing. At this stage in development they will be approximately one inch tall.