The slow­est cac­tus?

Amateur Gardening - - A Gardener’s Miscellany -

The Saguaro cac­tus (Carnegiea gi­gan­tea), found in south-western United States, does not grow branches un­til it is 75 years old! It is such a slow grower that in its first decade of life it grows to barely 1in (2.5cm) in height. At around 200 years, to­wards the end of its life, it can top 50ft (15.2m).

Dur­ing the ‘dry’ sea­son, the plant ‘col­lapses’ as its wa­ter is used up. How­ever, the roots ex­tend out­wards rather

than down­wards, so they take in a large quan­tity of wa­ter when the rains come. Then the plant can quickly ab­sorb a ton or more of wa­ter. The Saguaro cac­tus is rapidly dis­ap­pear­ing from the Ari­zona and Mex­i­can deserts through de­struc­tion – by ro­dents, search­ing for the wa­ter stored within the plant.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.