|The stem of the Saguaro Cactus stores all
of its water. The stem is green. Photosynthesis occurs in the top layer
of the stem instead of in leaves. This plant has another adaptation that
is hidden from us. This is its large net of roots -- that extend far
away from its trunk. How would these roots help a desert plant? The
roots collect water after rain. Stored in the pleated expandable stem,
the water keeps the saguaro alive until the next rain. Saguaro fruit is
used in jam and woody skeletons are used in building materials.
The Saguaro only grows in the Sonoran Desert, which stretches through parts of Arizona, California, and Mexico.
This cactus can grow as tall as fifty feet, weigh up to several tons, and live for two hundred years.
The saguaro's sharp spines protect it from harm. The accordion-like pleats in its skin expand in the rain, storing extra water for the long dry times.