Saturday, July 2, 2016

Saguaros and Cardóns

      The Sonoran Desert is located in both the southwest region of the United States as well as the northern region of Sonora and central Baja, Mexico.  Within the Mexican region is found the cardón cactus, a close cousin to the saguaro cactus of our Arizona.  Cardóns are the largest cactus in the world and unless one spends time in Baja California, not a common sight.

     But in north Phoenix, along Cave Creek Road, a local plant nursery has several specimens of the world's largest cactus growing.  Over the past two months we have photographed these cardóns as they bloomed, develop seed pods and then open those seeds pods to the birds and animals of the area.  Here are a series of 12 photos comparing the flowers, seed pods and fruits of the giant cardón and saguaro cacti.

Saguaro in bloom

Cardón in bloom

Closer look at cardón blooms

A cluster of saguaro seed pods in the center with a single cardón seed pod to the right

Some more cardón seed pods

Saguaro seed pods open exposing the thousands of tiny, black seeds

Cardón seed pod open exposing the thousands of tiny, black seeds

Saguaro seed pods open

Cardón seed pods with two that have opened
A cluster of cardón seed pods
Cardón seed pods - two open; one not yet ready

Another cluster of saguaro seed pods ripe and ready to open

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