- Peak blooming time is from May to June
That’s when you will find most Saguaro flowers. But if you keep looking, you can find saguaro blooms for more than half of the year, as early as mid-April, and as late as November.
- A single saguaro can produce as many as 100 flowers in a season.
Factors such as maturity, size and environment may play a role in the number of blossoms.
- Their lifespan is very short.
Saguaro flowers usually bloom at dusk and stay open till about midmorning the next day. By afternoon the flower will start to wilt and die.
- They need help from their desert friends.
There are quite a few desert dwellers needed to help with the pollination process — some of which are bees, moths, hummingbirds and common doves. As they get nectar from the bloom, they become covered in pollen, which is then transported and deposited into other flowers.
- But their BFF is the bat.
The night blooming schedule of the saguaro bud is the perfect time for the lesser long nosed- bats, who use their brush-tipped tongues to extract lots of nectar from the flower. The bright white color of the bloom also makes it easy for the bats to see as they move along in the dark sky.
- It’s the official state flower of Arizona.
In 1901 the saguaro blossom was adopted as the official territorial flower, and later, in 1931, it was confirmed as the state flower. It is arguably one of the most unique state flowers, creamy-white in color, 3-inches wide with a yellow center.
- They have a wonderful scent.
Saguaro flowers are often describe as having a pungently sweet melon scent. Wildlife seem to agree because they can’t get enough. The flowers are also characterized by having a waxy look and feel.
- They turn into fruit.
Once a saguaro flower has been pollinated, it matures into fruit that splits open when ripened – revealing bright red pulp and black seeds. Seeds from the Saguaro fruit are prolific, and can contain 1000s on a single fruit.
- They’re edible.
The fruit provides nutrients for wildlife and has long been harvested by Native Americans to make sweet syrup.
- You can find them all over the desert.
Saguaro and their stunning flowers are one of the most characteristic plants of the Sonoran Desert, but you won’t find them above an elevation of about 3,500 feet since they can’t handle much frost.