Cactus and Other Vegetable Growths of the Desert, Ariz.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
This view is worth your study because it represents a great section of the southwestern United States. In southwestern Arizona and southern New Mexico there are great stretches of country that have little rainfall. These are usually at a considerable elevation above the sea, since they form a part of the great western plateau. The vegetation is scant and the plants that grow there are dwarfed. Sagebrush and cacti are the commonest of these. By far the most striking growth in these semiarid areas is the giant cactus here shown. It grows as high as 60 feet, and usually has a number of branches springing from the body. These branches are thick and stubby, and stand upright, so that the plant is sometimes likened to a tuning fork. It blooms in the spring, and in midsummer bears fruit of various colors, full of black seeds. This fruit is relished by the few native Indians. It is one of their staple foods. In general, Arizona has a very dry climate. For this reason it is not adapted to agriculture, but there is a great deal of pasture land over which sheep and cattle graze. The reclamation (rk´lå-m´ shn) of vast areas of this country is one of the problems the state and the Federal Government are working out. The waters of the lower Colorado River will, in time, irrigate thousands of acres. The Roosevelt Dam in the Salt River Valley, has made possible the cultivation of a large section. The soil is very fertile; water only is needed to make it very productive. At present alfalfa is the most important crop, with wheat and barley next. In the mining industries the state ranks high. It stands first in the production of copper, and its output of lead, gold, and silver is considerable. Keystone ID: 13724 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.