Tucson saguaros in a “super bloom” thanks to winter rain

Tucson saguaros in a “super bloom” thanks to winter rain
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 8:31 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - If you’ve noticed more blooms or “hair” on our native saguaros this year, you’re not alone!

In fact, experts are calling it a “super bloom!”

John Scheuring, Conservation Committee Chairman for the Arizona Native Plant Society, said it’s been years since Tucson has seen this many saguaro blooms.

“This year we had wonderful winter rains. We didn’t have that much, maybe about four inches, but they were well spaced during the month of December, January and February,” said Scheuring.

Saguaros typically bloom at the beginning of May and taper off by June 1.

Scheuring said this year, we got lucky and wet weather paired with cool nights kept these saguaros hydrated well into spring.

“By the first of April, these saguaros were fat and sassy, because they had sucked up all this moisture from the winter rains,” said Scheuring.

Now many of those blooms are maturing into juicy fruit.

“Over the last two years, if you were watching closely, those fruits because there’s not enough water in the saguaro, they wither up and fall off. They look like little matchsticks. This year we had a real bonus. We had a cold front that came through in the middle of May,” said Scheuring.

Tucson had a months worth of rain in a matter of days in May. Scheuring said it could be a result of climate change, but Tucsonans know all rain is good rain!

He said the saguaros aren’t the only ones soaking it in.

“This year the fruiting of the Foothill Palo Verdes is amazing. What’s nice to see, here we have the saguaros and its silent partner the Foothill Palo Verdes that are having such a wonderful year and then hopefully next year we’ll have a whole lot of baby plants that will be coming up together,” said Scheuring.

More moisture and blooms means we’ll see more fruit this year! Be on the lookout, you can expect to see that vibrant red around the fourth of July.

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