SelecTree: Tree Detail

SAGUARO CACTUS
Carnegiea gigantea

Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea

Photo Locations: Desert Botanical Garden - Phoenix, AZ, Tucson, AZ and The Living Desert - Palm Desert, CA

General Notes

A classic cactus for any desert garden. Has a ribbed trunk that shrinks or swells with changes in moisture. As a slow grower is a good option for a container or garden for many years.  Blooms at night. Crested Saguaros are a rare mutation that is little understood.

Has fragrant Flower.

Has thorns.

Native to Mexico, Arizona and California.

A Carnegiea gigantea in Ducor is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 22 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 47 inches and a crown spread of 7 feet.

Family: Cactaceae

Synonyms

Cereus giganteus
Pilocereus giganteus

Additional Common Names

SAGUARO CACTUS, GIANT CACTUS

Tree Characteristics

Columnar Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 25 - 50 feet.

Width: 3 - 10 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 Inches per Year.

Longevity Greater than 150 years.

Leaves Spines, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Showy. Fragrant White. Flowers in Spring. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Few, Red Berry, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Winter Edible.

Bark Green, Ridged.

Shading Capacity Rated as Low in Leaf.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 12, 13 and 18 - 21.

USDA Hardiness Zones 9 - 11.

Exposure Full Sun.

Well Drained Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Loam or Sand Texture.

Neutral to Highly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Moderate Inland.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in South Coast.

Pests & Disease Information

Susceptible to Saguaro Virus, Fungi and Bacterial Rot.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Strong.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Fire Resistance is Favorable.

Desirable Wildlife Plant.

Attracts Birds.

Not Deer Palatable.

Special Uses & Values

Specimen, Accent.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Carnegiea gigantea Tree Record." 1995-2020. Dec 5, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/carnegiea-gigantea >

This tree is not part of the SelecTree Nursery Connection. If you would like to see this tree listed, or know of a nursery that sells it, please contact us at ufei@calpoly.edu.