Some interesting facts about the Sonoran Desert:
- Phoenix, Arizona is the largest city located within the Sonoran Desert.
- It is considered the wettest desert in the world. In some places it can receive up to 25 inches of rain per year.
- It is often called the low desert.
- The Sonoran Desert encompasses the U.S. states of Arizona and California as well as the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.
The Sonoran Desert is the only place in the world where Saguaro cactus grow naturally. The Saguaro cacti is a protected species. You actually need a permit to move one. They take nearly 70 years to produce flowers. If you see a Saguaro with arms know that it is over 100 years old.
Once they start producing you can see these beautiful flowers every spring between April and May. If pollinated the white flowers will turn into red fruit in the summer. The fruit has thousand of tiny black seeds that feed many of the desert animals and birds.
What makes the Sonoran Desert Special?
Often perceived as hot and dusty, many believe the desert is void of life. In contrast, the desert is beautiful and home to over 2,000 native plants.
Some popular cactus include the cholla, beavertail, hedgehog, prickly pear, ocotillo, and organ pipe to name a few. Agaves, creosote bush , mesquite, palo verde trees are abundant here as well. The Creosote bush is the signature smell in Arizona after a rainfall.
Several varieties of palm trees and tropical plants can thrive in the desert. Spring brings fantastic blooms. The desert landscape pops with gorgeous pink, white, yellow and red flowers. Desert wildflowers have a stunning spring display with the mountains and cactus as backdrops.
Millions of people, and many species of animals, reptiles and birds call the desert home.
Common Animals and Creatures
- gila monsters
- various lizards
- cactus wren
- bighorn sheep
- pronghorn antelope
Arizona is home to over 350 bird species. We have 15 species of hummingbirds. Southeastern Arizona has some of the best hummingbird viewing areas in the country.
To learn more about desert plant and wildlife visit the: