As I was working on the Crested Love commission, my husband and I took a break for a great hike in Brown’s Ranch. We entered off Pima and Dynamite and took the Sidewinder trail. I had no idea we would be seeing this majestic crested Saguaro on the trail, imagine my excitement! “OOH, this is definitely my next painting!”, I exclaimed. I learned there are actually three of them in these trail systems, yet this is the grandest of them.
“In a crested Saguaro you have an icon on top of an icon,” says Saguaro expert, Bill Peachy. “You have the strange form of the Saguaro which stands out so much in our minds, and you’ve added a whole new dimension to it in the form of this strange growth.” These cacti are quite the mystery, with this very rare mutation scientists speculate that out of 200,000 Saguaros only one will have the cresting. We really don’t know why this happens but many speculate frost, lightening, or a hormonal imbalance causing the cells to divide out of control developing into a crest. Many have been documented in Arizona, with some crests measuring three to five feet in diameter! These mysterious beauties are a sight to behold and a coveted favorite of cactus lovers.
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