Don’t Drink the Water

The fallen arm of a saguaro shows the spongy tissue inside the skeleton where water is stored, taken on the Balanced Rock Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve

As a child when I learned a saguaro stores water in its body I assumed water flowed through pipe-like structures and was stored in reservoirs. But as you can see from this arm that had fallen off, inside the skeleton is a spongy tissue that holds the water. And because of the way the saguaro processes carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, the liquid is acidic and not safe for human consumption.

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