|Desert Botanical Garden Plant Sale|
|My husband and daughter checking out the young saguaro cacti.|
|The price for a 1 ft. high Totem Pole cactus was $48.|
This beautiful Saguaro was one of the first cacti that greeted me on my walk.
The first skeleton I came across was from a Saguaro cactus; part of it still standing upright. You can see where top part of the skeleton has fallen to the ground.
Here it is close up. The decay is till present as you can see inside. The woody remains of the saguaro are called ‘ribs’ and are what supports the Saguaro cactus.
Above, is a photo of a Saguaro that had just fallen. You can easily see the ribs. Whenever a Saguaro cactus would fall in a landscape setting, we would move it to an out of the way area where it could decay. Then we would take the ribs and put them back into the landscape as a display. Saguaro ribs are considered a beautiful accent in the desert landscape and are prized by many.
Native Americans used Saguaro ‘ribs’ to build roofs, walls and even furniture. Another use was that they would make long poles that they used to knock off the Saguaro fruit, which is edible.
Saguaro are not the only types of cacti that leave behind skeletons….
Teddy Bear Cholla (above), also has an interesting skeleton.
Above, is a photo of a segment of Teddy Bear Cholla that is in the process of decaying. You can see the woody skeleton starting to show.
It is illegal to remove Saguaro and Cholla skeletons from the desert, unless you have permission from the owner. Specimens can sometimes be purchased at certain plant nurseries that specialize in cacti.
So do as I do…..enjoy them out in the desert and take lots of photos.
What comes to mind when you think of cactus?
Why is sun protection needed for the surface of cacti? The shade from the spines let the cactus lose water through the atmosphere. This helps keep the cactus temperature relatively low.
Another function that the spines serve is that they help certain species of cacti such as cholla to root and spread.
Spines of the Cholla are specialized to detach and attach onto anything that comes to close. There are tiny barbs at the tips which grab on to anything that gets too close. It almost appears as if they ‘jump’ off of the main cactus as they latch on the unlucky recipient.