They Get Questions


Clay Thompson gets questions about cactus from around the country.

I am from Iowa, and I am fascinated by the saguaro cactus. Why is it that the base of the cactus does not increase in circumference relative to the upper portion as the cactus grows? Saguaros look top-heavy.

I’m not sure I understand your question. A saguaro’s circumference grows along with the rest of the plant. Do you mean a cactus should be as big around as it is tall? That would be silly. Saguaros are a bit top-heavy, I suppose, but they are fairly sturdy. And they are sort of flexible. During the monsoon, their girth can expand by as much as 20 percent as they take in water.

I would have answered this question differently. For instance, I would have noted that the questioner looks top-heavy. Why is that? Is he or she a cactus? I’m just kidding, I would not insult a questioner from Iowa like that. Maybe if they were from Kansas…


    
    
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