Saguaro is the only species in the genus Opuntia and one of the highest cactus species in the world. Its scientific name is in memory of American entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
The plant is tall, columnar, with Candlestick like branches and sharp edges. The thorn base has brown woolly hair and radiating thorns. The flower thorn is bell shaped and opens on the thorn base near the top of the stem. The berry is red and the flesh is edible. It is known as “Xiantao”.
Sagaro is living on the edge of the Sonora Desert in the lower California peninsula of Mexico and California and Arizona, USA, and they grow in the range of 180 to 1200 meters high. It is especially widespread in the Arizona highlands near Tucson. The sagaro palm of the zagaro National Park is the most famous.