Exciting news in the world of national park cacti!

A crew surveying plants at Saguaro National Park west of Tucson has made a “shocking” discovery: a mature organ-pipe cactus growing among the saguaros….

The find is significant because the big cacti – with arms somewhat resembling organ pipes – are almost completely limited in this country to warm, low-elevation deserts at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument south of Ajo….

Hubbard said a crew from the monitoring network, which is a part of the National Park Service, found the Saguaro Park specimen in February in a “sort of protected micro-site.”

The plant is big, but clearly not in its ideal environment. You can see the really pronounced yearly variations in width and the most recent growth is not looking healthy, probably a very cold couple of winters.