The crested saguaro cactus | Arizona's majestic beauty

The crested saguaro cactus is an attractive destination

Among the thousands of saguaro cactuses in Arizona, there are a few who stand out from the rest. Most humans give them no attention as we pass by daily. Maybe the saguaro blends in with the rest. Or perhaps they are just disregarded as a freak of nature.




Along our journeys through the backcountry, I often look for the intricate mass, odd formations, and strange shapes protruding from our wonderful Saguaro cactuses. Many people believe they are scarce. The truth is, if you look hard enough, you'll find them everywhere.

The crested Saguaro cactus is a majestic beauty. Each cactus sports a unique shape and intricate formation. The cause of this strange growth is unknown. Some believe it's a genetic defect, while others believe it is caused by lightning. Either way, these unique crested saguaros are among one of the rarest species of plants in the world. Said to be one in 1 million, the crest itself is a rarity that many don't get to see.

Not one crested saguaro is the same. Although many have similar appearances, each crest has a mind of its own. Some fan out at the top resembling a head of broccoli. Others split in two like a fork and continue to grow arms. Those arms can Fork again, or develop a head of broccoli. You never know what the next crested saguaro is going to look like.



















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AZBCE is dedicated to keeping our community informed. We have successfully engaged our community in policy-making decisions that threaten motorized access in Arizona. We take pride in helping shape land-use proposals on Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service lands.

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