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The saguaro cactus, the universal symbol of the American West and the largest cacti in the U.S., is alive and well and protected within Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona, which became a national monument in 1933 and a national park in 1994.

Found only in a small part of the USA in the Sonoran Desert, the giant saguaro has a slow growth cycle and long lifespan – studies show that the cactus grows between 1 and 1.5 inches in the first eight years, flowers begin production at 35 years of age, and branches, or arms, normally…