Pollination of Cacti in the Sonoran Desert
The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and affiliates.
If you are an active member, affiliate or individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article. Be sure you've entered your member or subscriber number on your profile page. (You can access your profile page through the green box to the right.)
If you are not a member, affiliate or individual subscriber, you can:
The saguaro cactus and its cousins the cardon, organ pipe and senita cacti dot the landscape of the Southwestern United States. Indeed, they are the hallmark of this desert landscape. Judging from the shape of the flowers, it is clear, says the author that these cacti originally evolved to accommodate bats as their pollinators. But in order to expand their geographic range into areas where the bats were less abundant, these plants have developed unusual—some might even say bizarre—new mechanisms for attracting pollinators and for reproducing. One species of cactus, for example, is capable of producing four different sexes.