Monday, May 4, 2009

Cactus Monday - Crested Saguaros

Sometimes cacti or other plants display a quirky growth pattern called cresting or fasciation. Some possible causes include genetic mutation, lightening strike, freeze damage, insect attack and bacterial infection, but scientist don't agree on the reason. Cresting is rare in saguaros, and
usually begins at the top when the plant is several feet tall. Instead of growing in the typical way, the cactus fans out into undulating folds and ribbons.

Here are some of the crested saguaros (Cereus giganteus f. cristate) we've observed around Tucson, Arizona:
Sabino Canyon, Nature Loop Trail - March 2009

Lower Sabino Canyon, near the dam - Jan. 2009

Bear Canyon - February 2008

Tohono Chul Park - March 2009

University of Arizona - April 2009

Near Skyline Drive and Pontatoc Road - July 1994

Check out this cool sketch of a crested saguaro Teri posted for Cactus Monday in February.

For this week's Cactus Monday posts, visit Teri's Painted Daisies.

26 comments:

messyfish said...

So bizzare! But loving it! HCM

deedee said...

I bet each of those cactus could tell us quite a story. I never get tired of looking at cactus! Wonderful pictures.

bookbabie said...

Very cool, from far away they just look a little clumpy but up close the pattern is beautiful!

Flying Colors said...

Oh how wonderful and with all the info to go with.
Splendid photographs - great source and post!
Thank You and have a HCM!

Martha said...

These are great, Diane. Maybe next year we'll get to Arizona again and spend more time exporing.

Lynn said...

These are all amazing. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing. HCM

Icy BC said...

They look so unique! The first photo looks like a hand..I'm always looking forward to see your pictures!

soulbrush said...

that first one is absolutely amazing. wow, you are so lucky to see these wonderful plants around you. hcm fellow cactuteer.

deepazartz said...

Diane, How come you come up with so many different cacti stuff???
Its so wonderful..to know about all these. Truly bedazzled by all the cacti encounters!

HCM:)

marianne said...

Wow interesting post!
Wonderful pictures!
HCM!

Phoenix C. said...

I didn't know this was fasciation, Diane! I only found out about fasciation last summer when one of my foxgloves produced two long stems like handlebars on a toy scooter!

These photos are fantastic, I just love those shapes and rhythms.

Margaret Ann said...

Wonderful photos...Now having been to Tucson I can play back these various locations in my mind...I love travelling with you on your blog! HCM!

Prospero said...

I've always had a fascination with cacti. I think it's something about the morphology, the endless shapes and textures. It's also really instructive to see plants growing in their natural surroundings.

Kevin said...

Saguaros have always been one of my favourite cactus, probably like most people. These strange mutations are interesting but I'm trying to figure out whether I think they're pretty or just weird.

The close up photos sure have neat patterns however. Something to look for next time I head south.

Leedra said...

I did not know cactus did this. These are so pretty.

Leedra’s Photos For FunLeedra’s Greeting CardsPhotography By Leedra

Julie said...

These crested Saguaros are so awesome...I love the look! Happy CM!

LisaNewton said...

Wow, I love all the funny shapes nature created at the top of these cactus. You captured them perfectly.

BTW, I love your new header...............:)

Dee said...

Those are great pictures! I remember first seeing a crested saguaro- they are so strange and beautiful!

¤ Anuka ¤ said...

Wow, and who said desert was boring? Seems that you'll never miss photographic resources in a place like that.. lucky you ^^

betchai said...

wow, i thought it is a variety of cactus when i saw your first picture, and then, as i read, i was amazed to learn it is the saguaro. i love saguaro, when we first went to grand canyon, i was looking for saguaro since i thought it is all over arizona, but i did not see any, i jumped for joy when i saw lots of them when we drove from north arizona to phoenix. i always think the desert is so fascinating, it has too many surprises that we do not often see.

A Joyful Chaos said...

You do beautiful photography. I love cactus, and your pictures make me feel as if I almost saw them for myself.
Thanks for sharing.

lisaschaos said...

Magnificent! I've never seen those before!

Glynis said...

Fantastic pics! We are growing cactii in our garden here in Cyprus, they are going mad, in the UK I had one small one on a windowsill.

soulbrush said...

there's an award for you on my blog today fellow cactuteer.

Teri C said...

WOW, you have found a lot of them! They are so interesting and I always wonder about the why of them.

HCM belatedly.

Glynis said...

Forgot to say and award awaits at scribbles...do with it what you will :)