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I've been stalking a neighbor's saguaro this week because it is flowering.

For those of you who don't see these giant cacti every day, saguaros usually flower in June, not September.

The flowers usually open at night, but these are staying open well into the morning, which makes them accessible to day-active pollinators like these honey bees and the carpenter bee on the right.

With all the buds, looks like they'll be enjoying flowers for a few more days at least.

Have you seen any flowers or bees this week?

It's May and the saguaro cacti are in full bloom.

saguaro-flower-carpenter-bee-111Although the flowers are open at night, they remain open long enough in the morning for bees and birds to gather their nectar and pollen.

saguaro-flowers-bees-123Both honey bees and carpenter bees are visiting these flowers.

white-winged-dove-on-saguaroThe birds that pollinate the saguaros are white-winged doves. They show up as the cacti begin to flower and stay through the summer fruiting season.

bees-over-saguaro-flowers-456Why didn't I get any closer photographs?

saguaro-exampleThat might have been a bit difficult, as saguaros can be roughly 50 feet tall when mature. The flowers form at the top.

Have you ever seen a saguaro cactus in bloom?

 

Okay, so maybe the mystery seed of the week was a bit tricky because not many people have the opportunity to see saguaro cactus seeds.

mystery-seed-12

saguaro-flower

The flowers and the fruit are on top of the arms, high in the air.

saguaro1

The plants are only found in the Sonoran desert.

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Isn't it amazing that tiny black seeds the size of pinheads can grow into a giant like this.

If you are interested in hands on learning, check the saguaro cactus activities post.