Are you ready for another flower block? OK then. Today we have cactus from the Arizona landscape. I love the desert in spring! It's truly an awesome place, for this is the time when everything comes alive and the heat index is still relatively mild so you can cover a lot of territory on foot (the only way to experience and really appreciate what's out there), without worry of heat stroke. But in any case---don't forget your hat.
Native to the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern US and northern Mexico, the saguaro cactus is an iconic symbol of the region. Slow growing, and commonly living between 150 to 200 years--it can take up to 75 years just for an "arm" to appear. The flowers grow forth from the ends of these upshoots with the entire cactus reaching heights of fifty feet tall. It blooms in spring through May and June, producing a beautiful waxy, lightly scented flower that attracts bees, and which later develops into a red berry that provides food for doves migrating from South America. The flowers open during the cooler desert nights and close during the midday heat. (Click photo to view larger.)
The saguaro cactus blossom (camegiea giganted), was adopted as the state flower for Arizona in 1901 but was not made offical until May 16, 1931. The saguaro cactus is slow at propogating making it a candidate for the endangered species list-thus it is illegal to remove or harm them in the State of Arizona.
See ya tomorrow with #34!