Hollywood and mis-informed artists.
Made the saguaro a Texas Icon.
But the saguaro only grows in Arizona.
Where people’ve got em’ out on their lawn.
The Reverend Horton Heat
Indeed, its true. Often thought of as a symbol of the American West, the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is confined to the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona, and southward into the states of Sonora and Baja, in Mexico. However, despite its somewhat limited geographic range, the saguaro still symbolizes much of what we associate with the American West, like resilience and fortitude. Saguaros can grow quickly, even in the hot, dry environment of southern Arizona. On young plants, the spines can grow up to a millimeter a day. In addition, they’re long-lived. They don’t even start branching until they’re several decades old.
Even after their death, the skeletons of these magnificent cacti stand strong against the elements, preserved by the dry desert air. I found a couple of cacti skeletons on a recent trip to Phoenix. I thought the lines they made were artful, graceful, almost sensuous.