Type of Flower
The saguaro is an arborescent (tree-like) cactus species in the monotypic genus Carnegiea, which can grow to be over 20 meters (~70 ft) tall. It is native to the Sonoran Desert in the U.S. state of Arizona, the Mexican state of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California.
The saguaro blossom is the State Wildflower of Arizona. The common name saguaro came into the English language through the Spanish language, originating in the Mayo language.
The Saguaro flowers are usually found near the tops of the stems and arms of the cactus. The night blooming white and yellow flowers appear April through June and the sweet, ruby-colored fruit matures by late June.They are white and centre yellow in color about 3 inches (8cm) in diameter. They emit a strong smell, sort of like overripe melons.
During the night the flowers are pollinated by the lesser long-nosed bat and the Mexican long-tongued bat. During the daytime the flowers are pollinated by bees and birds such as the white-winged dove.
Saguaro flowers bloom for less than 24 hours. They open at night and remain open through the next day. They only have that very short time to attract an animal to be pollinated.
Ripe fruit is an excellent source of food and moisture for many desert animals. Some of those animals include finches, woodpeckers, doves, bats, tortoise, javelina and coyote. Humans also eat the fruit of the saguaro. Tohono O'odham Indians have been harvesting the fruit for as long as they have lived in the desert.