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Carnegiea gigantea (Saguaro)

This famous cactacea is the image plant in the world of cacti. It is more commonly known with the popular names of "Saguaro", "Candelabra Cactus", "Giant Cactus" or "Desert Sage". Its olive-green stem contrasts with the silvery gray of the dense stiff spines, has well-marked ribs with thick downy areoles. This imposing cactus, of very slow growth, is renowned for its longevity, as it has an average life of over 150 years, and some specimens reach up to 300 years, reaching heights of over 13 meters with a circumference of up 3 meters! Its characteristic "arms" can take over 70 years to develop and take on the beautiful candlestick shape. In its natural habitat it is considered a fundamental element of the ecosystem, as it nests a myriad of desert animals, including woodpeckers and owls. Flowering occurs in spring, blooming with large candid white nocturnal flowers. The harvest of its edible fruits has been part of the tradition of the Native Americans for thousands of years, who use them for ritual and medicinal purposes, as well as for food, making jam, syrup and wine.