Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A very large cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) of the southwest United States and northern Mexico, having ribbed upward-curving branches, white funnel-shaped flowers, and edible red fruit.
  • n. The fruit of this cactus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large cactus in the genus Carnegiea, native to the Sonoran Desert and characterized by its "arms".

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The giant cactus, Cereus giganteus, a columnar species from 25 to over 50 feet high, growing on stony mesas and low hills in Arizona and adjacent parts of Mexico.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. extremely large treelike cactus of desert regions of southwestern United States having a thick columnar sparsely branched trunk bearing white flowers and edible red pulpy fruit

Etymologies

American Spanish, probably of Piman origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Mexican Spanish, from a Taracahitic Uto-Aztecan language, such as Mayo or Opata. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The saguaro is a signature plant of the Sonoran Desert.

    Proclamation On Sonoran Desert Nationalmonument

  • Scattered among the huge club-shaped columns of the saguaro is the cholla, the next largest of the cactuses.

    The Western United States A Geographical Reader

  • … if you didn't know, and i didn't, a saguaro is a type of cactus …

    MetsBlog.com

  • Matthew Rounis, a fifth-grader who also served on the commission, said the combo design "represents the entire state, not just one section, and it also serves as a map of Arizona, since in the northern part you have the Grand Canyon and in the southern part you have the saguaro which is indigenous to those areas."

    And the winner is...

  • Paloverde-cactus shrub vegetation includes various types of cacti, such as saguaro, cholla and agave.

    North American Deserts ecoregion (CEC)

  • "The saguaro is a monstrosity in fact as well as in appearance, -- a product of miscegenation between plant and animal, probably depending for its form of life history, if not for its very existence, on its commensals." [

    Folkways A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals

  • The North American Gila Woodpecker excavates a living space within saguaro cacti.

    Photo-Op: Nest Fest

  • But I went alone, reassured in the north by the desert, the barrenness interrupted by the stolid saguaro, the gnarled creosote.

    The Right Thing

  • A second important time was the “summer wine feast” preceded by the “Saguaro ripe moon” when the important picking of saguaro fruits occurred.

    Bird Cloud

  • The last month in their year was the “black seed moon” preceding the ripening of the saguaro cactus fruits.

    Bird Cloud

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.