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Unprecedented outbreak of side blooms on saguaros in Arizona

Desert Cactus Landscape
Posted at 1:53 PM, May 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-30 16:53:55-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Cactus experts are tracking an unprecedented outbreak of "side blooms" on saguaros across Southern Arizona this year.

Typically, the giant cacti sprout flowers only around the tips of their arms and trunks.

But a large number of saguaros also are pushing out buds farther down their stems this year.

Research ecologist Bill Peachey told the Arizona Daily Star that he has received reports of saguaros blooming in strange places from the Phoenix area to as far south as San Carlos, Mexico.

The exact cause is unclear, but experts agree the rare display is a sign of distress.