Here is a photo of our back garden Saguaro. A few years ago the top developed the "leans" and a year or two later it fell off and took one of the arms with it. I figured it was a goner but has recovered and is adding new arms.
Saguaros are very slow growing a 10 year old plant may be less than two inches tall yet by the time they put on arms around 100 years or so they can be 40 or more feet tall.
Saguaros define the Sonoran desert, it is the only place they grow. Basically if you see a Saguaro you are in the Sonoran Desert and if you do not you are in some other desert like the Mojave. Not totally true but close enough. They feed and shelter many of the desert critters including the two legged kind. Our saguaro has been the home of a nesting pair of Gila Woodpeckers for years.
Saguaros can live a couple of hundred years and after the die they are still useful. From the Desert Museum's web site: "After the saguaro dies its woody ribs can be used to build roofs, fences, and parts of furniture. The holes that birds nested in or "saguaro boots" can be found among the dead saguaros. Native Americans used these as water containers long before the canteen was available."
They flower in the Spring and are pollinated by birds, bees and the lesser long-nosed bat. Native Americans celebrate the start of their growing season with a drink made from Saguaro fruit.
A photo of a Saguaro skeleton MsBubba has covered in lights, I doubt you can make it out but there is also a "boot" in the middle of the shelf to the left of the skeleton.
One more photo. Looking to the West Northwest towards the Tucsons and Saguaro National Park from our back garden.
Click 'em to big 'em,