But in the Sonoran Desert, nature has placed a couple of giant, arborescent cacti, which grow and thrive in this region of extreme drought and heat. They are the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea
), most commonly found in central and southern Arizona, and the cardon cactus (Pachycereus pringlei
), found in the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.
Just before the extreme temperatures of June — during the months of April and May — these two sentinels of the Sonoran Desert bath the desert in floral beauty with an explosion of millions of cream-colored flowers, like the saguaro blooms shown here.