The stately saguaro cactus, symbol of the American Southwest, is the king here, dominating the entire landscape. Although Saguaro National Park preserves a sizable chunk of the Sonoran Desert, it is one of America's few national parks dedicated to protecting one plant. Saguaros are plants with personalities. They often look human, standing tall and proud, their arms reaching toward the sky or pointing the way. Though some achieve heights of 50 feet and weigh up to 8 tons, saguaros grow slowly. It usually takes 15 years for them to reach 1 foot in height, and they don't flower or produce fruit until they're about 30. They take about 100 years to reach a height of 25 feet. Their maximum life span is about 200 years. … Back to Article
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