The age of a cactus may be determined by measuring its height. In the case of the saguaro cactus, the most popular variety, it can reach up to an average of 40 feet tall in its lifetime.Know More
The saguaro cactus that is typically seen in the Sonoran Desert of the American West can grow to be quite tall. In fact, the tallest of this type of cactus grew to be 78 feet tall. Looking at the height of the cactus is a way to determine its age. The cactus has several spiny "arms" that come off of its trunk, though the height is measured at the tallest part of it. It may take up to 10 years for this cactus to grow just 1 inch. By the time it is about 95 to 100 years old, the cactus will be about 15 feet tall. The cactus will reach its full height at around 200 years old, when it will be about 40 to 45 feet tall. It is the largest cactus in all of the United States.
The saguaro cactus is an important icon of the American West. It is especially important to the Tohono O'Odham tribe, who view the saguaro cacti as highly respected members of their tribe. They only will grow in southern Arizona, and they are native only to the Sonoran Desert. This cactus will grow anywhere from sea level to 4,000 feet in elevation.Learn more about Botany
The cactus is a member of the taxonomic family Cactaceae, a group of succulent plants that perform photosynthesis in their stems instead of in their leaves. Many species are able to survive in extremely dry environments by storing water in their stems.Full Answer >
Cacti produce their food through photosynthesis that occurs in their pads, which are modified stems. Evolution has modified their leaves into spines that provide shade for the pads and break up the wind to reduce evaporation through the skin of the stems.Full Answer >
While different cactuses may have specialized photosynthetic techniques, in general, photosynthesis occurs in a cactus' stem or trunk. The concept of photosynthesis in a cactus or succulent plant may seem strange considering that most of them do not have obvious leaves like many other plants, but their stems or trunks serve the same photosynthetic function as some other plants' leaves.Full Answer >
Cacti make use of many structural adaptations, such as shallow roots, fixed spines and thick stems, to survive in the desert where there is minimal rainfall. Each of these adaptations allow the plant to collect and store water more efficiently in an environment where water is scarce.Full Answer >