THE ARIZONA cactus is alive and all-too-well in the mountains above Orihuela, and volunteers are being sought to help remove them.

The city’s Environment Department is looking to rid the plant from the Sierra de Orihuela, with the help of an army of volunteers.

The mayor of the Environment, Dámaso Aparicio, explained that, “this invasive plant that is doing so much damage to our sierra.”

Arizona Cactus 2
ARIZONA CACTUS: “Invasive”

A letter has already been sent to the Oriolano Mountaineering Group (GOM) to help deal with the cactus in steep areas with difficult access.

The group are highly experienced in such terrain and have knowledge of the most affected places.

Once the council agreed to get help from the volunteers, Aparicio blamed the region’s government for the cactus problem.

“The neglect of the Conselleria on this issue, discarding its responsibility and not providing a budget for 2021, leaves [clearance] in the hands of volunteers.”

Aparicio did express his thanks to the GOM, for its “absolute commitment to their land and the mountains that they have explored so much.”

The “Arizona” Cactus

The Saguaro (aka Arizona Cactus) is a tree-like cactus species that can grow to be over 12 metres (40 feet) tall and is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and areas of California.

A variant is now known to be prolific in certain Mediterranean regions, such as southern Spain.

The blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona, with its scientific name (Carnegiea gigantea) is given in honour of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American philanthropist who led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in history.

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