You see them all over the 48th state. Arizona is home to the saguaro cactus. You might not be familiar with the name, but know the shape. They’re the ones that put out an arm on either side and look like they’re waving to you.
There’s more to these cacti than first meets the eye. Its plant genus name is Carnegiea gigantea – and yes, it’s named after the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. While they may be among the largest cactus species in the country, saguaros start off small in life. During their first 8 years, they may grow a mere 1 to 2 inches.
Those familiar arms you see belong only to a mature saguaro cactus. It won’t grow the first arm until it’s between 50 and 70 years old. The second arm may not appear until the cactus reaches the age of 100. The saguaro cactus is considered an adult when it is 125 years old. By this time, it can weigh up to 6 tons (most of that weight is water).
Many of these magnificent cacti live 200 years or more, and they usually don’t flower for the first time until they’re at least 35. The saguaro blossom is Arizona’s state flower.
A Lot Like Us
We’re enamored with these unique Arizona denizens of the desert because they have much in common with our Miracle Truss® buildings.
- Strong but flexible: We use steel for strength, and wood for flexibility. The saguaro keeps its mighty structure with a network of flexible woody ribs. The Hohokam Indians, Arizona’s original inhabitants, used the saguaro’s ribs to construct the walls of their homes.
- Stands up to extreme weather: The thick skin of the saguaro help it withstand the harsh temperature swings of the Sonoran desert. Summer days often exceed 118º, while winter nights will see the temperature dip down to freezing. On any given day, the temperature can swing an amazing rage of 60º. Our steel roofing is just as rugged, protecting you from the outside temperatures with an Energy Star Certification.
- Designed to last a lifetime: Okay, we’ll be honest. None of the adults at Miracle Truss has yet to reach the age of 125. So we’re all just kids compared to your average adult saguaro cactus. It’s obvious you don’t live that long unless you’re well-designed and made of durable material. Miracle Truss buildings come with a 50-year frame warranty. We’re pretty sure that’s about 200 in cactus years. All kidding aside, our steel construction and outer surfaces provide a lifetime of almost maintenance-free upkeep.
The extremes of Arizona’s landscape are perfectly suited for both the saguaro cactus, and our line of Miracle Truss® buildings. Your design options are as varied as the temperature can be in the Sonoran desert.
One last thing about those saguaros. They really aren’t waving at you.