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Saguaro Blossoms and Fruits
Saguaros bloom in May and June. Their white waxy flowers open at night and remain open for 24 hours. This allows the flowers to be pollinated by bats and moths at night and by bees and birds during the day. Saguaros' red fruits appear in late June and July. (Notice the many shades of Sonoran Desert summer blue sky.)

Photograph of saguaro fruits and flowers

Close-up photograph of saguaro fruit

Since they grow on the tops of the tall cactus, it is not easy to photograph saguaro fruits and blossoms. The best situation is to find a short saguaro that's blooming or to find a trail where you can hike above the saguaro and look down its top.

Photograph of red saguaro fruits

The Tohono O'odham American Indians and their ancestors, the Hohokam, have harvested the saguaros' fruits for centuries. They use a long pole, traditionally made of a saguaro rib, to knock down the fruits that grow on the very top of the cacti. They cook the fruits to make syrup and reserve some of that syrup to ferment into the wine used in their annual rain-making ceremony.


To learn more about this tradition, read Sing Down the Rain, a children's picture book written by Judi Moreillon and illustrated by Michael Chiago.

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