The crested saguaro cactus | Arizona’s majestic beauty

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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.

Kevin Allard
Author: Kevin Allard

Kevin is an American outdoorsman born and raised in rural Arizona who grew up exploring the Arizona backcountry with his father. Today, he and his son travel to the most remote regions of Arizona, scavenging for the remains of early western pioneers. As a lifelong outdoorsman, Kevin has learned to stick close to his roots while engaging in important advocacy work regarding motorized access to public lands. You can find his work in many local and nationwide publications, including The Western Journal, 4Low Magazine, and his website


It is now more important than ever for motorized users to defend motorized access. For just 30 cents a day you can become part of the solution. Your support will help us meet our goals and continue to challenge the radical green agenda.