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Welcome to Conservancy Kids!
Caring for a Cactus
Obviously, there are no hospitals out in the wild Sonoran Desert. But, did you know there are nurses out there? Well, nurse plants to be specific. These nurse plants have a similar job as the nurses who work in the maternity ward with babies. These are often shrub-like plants (creosote, ocotillo, and even young palo verde and mesquite trees) that provide protection for newly sprouting cactus seeds (and other types of plants, as well). The harsh desert environment can be tough on seedlings, so nurse plants provide some protection from the desert environment while the seedling grows into a more mature plant that can survive.
Meet a Cactus
McDowell Sonoran Preserve (free) (Scottsdale)
Phoenix Preserve (free) (Phoenix)
South Mountain Park and Preserve (free) (South Phoenix/Ahwatukee)
Usery Mountain Regional Park ($7 entrance fee) (Mesa/Apache Junction)
White Tank Mountain Regional Park ($7 entrance fee) (Waddell)
It's the Arizona summer, so if you do go outdoors, remember to go early in the morning or later in the evening and carry plenty of water. Don't worry if you can't make it outside right now--the cacti will still be there once the weather cools down!
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Have questions about the Sonoran Desert? Want a lesson on a specific topic? Email us at email@example.com.