Where the Saguaros are… and aren’t.

This is an easy one. In the U.S., saguaros are only found in Arizona, and anecdotally in extreme eastern California (although I haven’t been able to find any verification). There are no saguaros in New Mexico (despite Kacey Musgraves’ song Dime Store Cowgirl which claims, “[I’ve] driven through New Mexico where the saguaro cactus grow”). And there are definitely no saguaros in Texas, although Old El Paso would like you to believe differently.

Overlay of verified sightings of saguaro cacti. Wikipedia

The romantic idea of a raw, young American West has no better symbol than the saguaro cactus. In Western films, its image appears in locations where it has no business growing; it’s used by brands, like Old El Paso salsa, despite the fact that no naturally growing saguaros live within 250 miles of El Paso. The saguaro is almost exclusively indigenous to southern Arizona and the Sonoran state of Mexico, where it grows plentifully.

Reverend Horton Heat – “Ain’t No Saguaro in Texas”

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