Organ Pipe Cactus Nat'l. Monument

The Organ Pipe Cactus Nat'l. Monument is found in extreme southern arizona southwest of Tucson and is a massive 517 square miles (330,000 acres) filled with Saguaros and other typical Sonoran Desert flora and fauna. 

One of the most spectacular of any National Monument, it is also designated as a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve and protects almost the entire population of Organ Pipe Cactus (stenocereus thurberi). This park is the only place you can find Organ Pipe Cactus. Quitobaquito Spring is a well-known spring that can be found in the park. Excellent wildflower displays occur in spring.

Rare plants can be found here such as:

 - Desert Caper (Atamisquea emarginata), which reaches its northernmost distribution here and is mostly found in Mexico.  

 - Night-blooming Cereus (Peniocereus striatus) is an amazing and mysterious cactus species that blooms only once a year at night in June or July and then closes in the morning. Most of the plants in one area will all bloom on the same night magically! The flowers are very fragrant.


Organ Pipe Cactus

The Organ Pipe cactus has very limited distribution in the USA, growing only in far southern Arizona. Most members of this species occur in Mexico. Organ Pipe flowers are pollinated by Fruits of this cactus are prized for their sweetness and were eaten by native tribes. Many desert creatures feed on the succulent fruits when they fall to the ground. The fruits are now made into jellies.

Organ Pipe Cactus in the desert
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