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The Rare Crested Saguaro Cactus of Arizona

Updated on June 5, 2013

The Rare Crested Saguaro Cactus - A Thing of Beauty Any Way You Look At It!

On our way from Tucson, Arizona to Rocky Point, Mexico, my sister-in-law made a mysterious comment: 'I'm going to show you something you've never seen before.' I was doubtful but darned if she wasn't right when our car stopped just steps off the highway right by this rare crested saguaro cactus - I was amazed at the beauty of this desert plant.

There are many different theories about why the crested saguaro forms, but no one really knows the definitive reason. Leading theories are that the saguaros might have a genetic defect which makes them gorgeous (!), or that, during the forming of the cactus, the top was somehow damaged (ie, freezing, lighting, etc). Whatever the reason, I think this cactus is about the most intricate and beautiful nature phenomena I've ever seen - ok, maybe that's a stretch as there are a lot of other sights I've taken in that are amazing such as the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, etc. But, this cactus is sure up there in the ranking.

Photo credit: Every picture on The Rare Crested Saguaro Cactus of Arizona are my own pictures unless otherwise credited.

Note: I'm not going to divulge in this Squidoo article the exact location of this beautiful cactus, but, if you want to know, just leave me a comment, and I'll get back to you privately.

Books About Cacti in Arizona

I spent May-June 2013 in Arizona and, during that time, I stocked my house up with some good books about the flora and fauna of the native Southwest. I spied a whole lot of lizards, some appreciable sized, lovely hawks, and some very interesting cactus while there. The books below are excellent reference books to have on hand if you're in the field.

The Full Monty - A Picture of The Whole Crested Saguaro

This cactus was as amazing a piece of artwork as it was in sheer size! It stood at least 40 feet tall which probably put it around 80 years old or so. Saguaro cactus have been found to live up to 200 years! And, they can go to 12 tons when they fill with water during monsoon season in Arizona.

Another Stunning Example of a Crested Saguaro

This picture is courtesy of The top of this cactus is more elaborate than the one I stumbled upon but, then again, this cactus is probably significantly older.

Some Interesting Links

When researching for this Squidoo article, I found some interesting information. Here's the links if you'd like to delve deeper into Arizona desert plants.

My Saguaro Cactus On Zazzle

I decided to add my photo of the crested saquaro cactus to my library. Clicking the poster below will take you right to the Zazzle site where you can select any product you'd like to buy with this picture. I think it would be a great poster or tote bag.

 A Rare Saguaro Cactus - PosterCheck Price

A Unique Prickly Pear Cactus

prickly pear cactus
prickly pear cactus

I appear to have an affinity for deformed cactus, and immediately fell in love with the beautiful heart shape of this prickly pear cactus. I spotted this cactus while walking through Catalina State Park in Tucson, Arizona. The park has many lovely paths but, beware - make sure you wear closed toed shoes instead of the sandals I walked the rocky paths in.

The Crested Saguaro On a Totebag

What a great Mother's Day or Birthday present for a woman who loves cactus! This is the base of the crested saguaro spied right through my own Nikon D5000 camera. I love the unique pattern of this stunning saguaro cactus specimen.

 A beautiful tote bag with my own picture on it!Check Price

I'd love to hear your experiences with crested saguaros or your comments in general. So, give 'em up!

Have You Ever Seen A Crested Saguaro? - Have You Any Comments?

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    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've never seen one of these Crested Saguaros, but have seen regular Saguaros many times. The Crested ones you have on this page are quite spectacular. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    • mariacarbonara profile image


      5 years ago

      These look so weird

    • IrisHoppenbrouw profile image


      5 years ago

      I might have seen pictures of these before, but never a close-up of the top.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      They kind of look like ancient Grecian columns don't they? Saguaros are one of the best things about the AZ Sonoran Desert for sure. :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Amazing photos of the saguaro - hadn't seen one line this before. Pinned.


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