2-At about 50-100 years the Saguaro begins to grow branches. It could be thought of as raising its branches up to God (though some branches are twisted possibly through the Fall). Of course light helps them to grow. This is the fastest growing period. Moisture can affect the rate of growth. Length of life is about 150-200 years.
3-Flowers usually grow on the top of the Saguaro, but can grow on the sides as well. They open mostly at night and close during the day. They contain both male (stamen) and female (ovary and pistil) reproductive parts. If the flower has been pollinated by bats, birds or insects when it closes the next day it will develop into a fruit. This fruit can then be eaten and the seeds past through the digestive track of many animals and distributed. New growth can occur from these transplanted seeds. In this picture flowers-opened and closed, and a bird (dove) helping with pollination can be seen. However, if the dove eats the fruit it digests the seeds.Blooming occurs April to June.
4- Cresting or Fasciations is abnormal growth of the growth site, apical meristem, of the Saguaro.Not all Saguaro are affected. It can be genetic, infectious: fungal, bacterial, viral, or possible other causes. As well “bacterial necrosis” of Saguaro occurs and can kill the cactus. These processes probably reflect part of the corruption of the Creation post Fall through Adam's sin.
5-Death and decay of the Saguaro cactus: thick woody ribs lay on the ground along with the hardened dead surface covering.
Wikipedia general information on the Saguaro cactus and fasciations.
NPS bulletins (several) on the Saguaro cactus growth, reproduction, distribution etc.
Arizona Depart of Agriculture on “Bacterial Necrosis”
Photos by JGL