Definition of saguaro in US English:


(also saguaro cactus)


  • A giant cactus that can grow to 66 feet (20 m) in height and whose branches are shaped like candelabra, native to Mexico and the southwestern US. Its reddish-purple fruit can be used for food and drink.

    Carnegiea gigantea, family Cactaceae

    • ‘‘It's during the hottest and driest time of the year that the saguaro actually start producing fruit,’ he says.’
    • ‘The phrase ‘lush desert’ may reek of oxymoron, but in springtime the Sonoran - with its massive saguaros and organ-pipe cacti, as well as Mexican gold poppies, magenta owl clover, and indigo desert lupine - is just that.’
    • ‘The bark on saguaros and many other species of columnar cacti is usually a dark brown to black color.’
    • ‘We are rich with saguaros, prickly pear, and cholla cacti, and palo verde, and mesquite trees.’
    • ‘The wind rustles the brittle-bush and whispers its way though the clustered needles of saguaros, the hallmark cactus of the Sonoran Desert.’
    • ‘During this period, the species feeds on the nectar and pollen of flowering saguaros and organ pipe cactus, contributing to the successful pollination of these succulents.’
    • ‘Rising above them, mountains climbed past saguaro and organ pipe cactus to fields of snow so peaceful that he kept riding only to reach them as the trail ascended toward the distant passes.’
    • ‘The mushroom cloud diminished until it was no bigger than a man-sized saguaro, a desert cactus.’
    • ‘There was neither road nor house, only a saguaro here, a barrel cactus there, a lot of sand underfoot, and even more sun overhead.’
    • ‘Strolling through the mostly outdoor museum is like taking a desert hike among the saguaro cacti - with drinking fountains everywhere.’
    • ‘To give some perspective on the desert's time frame, it takes a saguaro 10 years to grow its first 1 1/2 inches.’
    • ‘The landscape is totally different from that of the area surrounding the resorts, with a wide variety of spectacular plant life, including the saguaro cacti and century plants.’
    • ‘Losses such as these severely affect populations of long-lived species like saguaros and desert tortoises, Schwalbe said.’
    • ‘In addition, few cacti should show extensive surface injuries if saguaros live for long time periods.’
    • ‘Being in the desert was a new experience for me, a native Westerner who had never seen birds nesting in a saguaro nor tasted a prickly pear margarita.’
    • ‘The giant saguaro cactus is evoked by five tall figures.’
    • ‘He lay in the shade of a giant saguaro while the mare stood nearby.’
    • ‘The smell of creosote bush after rain, the columnar saguaro, the lime green palo verde tree - this is my landscape.’
    • ‘I grew up in Arizona and learned to love saguaros, palo verdes and desert vistas.’
    • ‘To me, a forest of giant saguaro cacti is more familiar and comprehensible than a grove of river birches.’


Mid 19th century: from Mexican Spanish.