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Carnegiea gigantea

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Cactus, succulent, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Bats, bees, birds
Has Spines Yes
In relative feet, width by height
40' × 20'
Freeze Tolerant Yes
Flowering Season May-June
Flower Color White
Minimum Temperature Range 15-20 °F
Leaf Description Spines
Fruit A juicy, sweet, wildlife delight, filled with tiny black seeds.
In years
View on SEINet View SEINet Entry
Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 500-3500 ft.
Description Perhaps the most iconic plant of the Sonoran Desert, any xeriscape in southern or central Arizona where extreme cold is not an issue should include this keystone species. Just be sure to give it plenty of space to grow vertically (Don't put it under the eaves of your house). Mature specimens serve as veritable apartment complexes for a variety of birds. The flowers and fruit are an important food source for wildlife, and have been central to the lives of indigenous groups that live within its range. This species prefers good drainage and minimal irrigation. Very small plants benefit from light shade and are often found in association with nurse plants (larger plants that case shade) in native habitats.