National Desert Park, Baja, Mexico

In nothern Baja California lies a 200 mile stretch of  land which is a national protected desert park and  eco-system that consist of cardon cacti, elephant trees, boojum trees and hundreds of other desert oddities.  It is also known as Valle de Cirios which is another name for the boojum trees which are unique to this area. The tree has  a trunk and leaves but no branches until it is at least 100 years old when the trunk divides into two or more whip like branches. At the rate of 1 foot every 10 years, this tree is one of the slowest growing plants in the world. Another plant unique to this area is the giant cardon cactus which is often mistaken for its  smaller northern cousin known as the saguaro cactus. However, the cardon  is the world´s largest cactus which reaches heights of more than 60 feet. The indigenious people of this area survived on the seeds, roots, fruits, pulp and water from these and other wild plants of this area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans and modern agricultural systems. In addition, the wood like stalks of these plants were used for firewood, constructing shelters and fences.

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