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The undisputed king of the San Felipe desert is the cardón cactus. Reaching heights of 60 to 75 feet and weights of 20 to 40 tons, cardón is the world's largest cactus. Flowering with the first change of winter soil temperatures, they don an array of white trumpet-shaped flowers along most branches and thereby begin a complicated process of reproduction. The tallest of the species are located along Baja Sur's Magdalena Plain while our local cardón range to 30, 40 and 50 feet in height. With a lifespan of 300 years, a few of our local giants witnessed the coming of the Spaniards at the close of the 17th century. If cardón is king, Cholla is the knave of the cactus world with more than 100 varieties although considerably less than that have been identifed in the San Felipe.
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