Saguaro and Cardon

The Carnegiea Gigantea, “Saguaro”, and Pachycereus Pringlei, “Cardon”, are very similar cactus with extremely dissimilar growth rates. The Saguaro can grow over 50’ tall with many branching arms, but it may take up to 75 years for it to develop it’s arms, and some specimens may live to twice that age. The ‘Champion Saguaro’ in Arizona is the largest known Saguaro and is over 40’ tall with a 10’ trunk. Their growth rate is directly dependent on the amount of water they receive, but they are considered extremely slow growing regardless of regular irrigation or not. While the Saguaro is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Pachycereus Pringelei, or Cardon, is native to the Mexican states of Baja. It is the tallest cactus species known, with a record height of 63’ tall. Their are physical differences between the two plants, but they highly resemble each other. If planted recessed in a drought tolerant garden, they can add both texture and clean architectural lines.