Crested Saguaro

Crested Saguaro - In Hiding

Crested Saguaro – In Hiding © 2011 Bo Mackison

I love the saguaro cacti that are often seen in the Sonoran Desert. I love the crested saguaro even more. I’ve seen five different crested saguaro since I’ve been exploring the desert, and each one seemed to have its own character. This crested saguaro seems to be “hiding its face”, a very shy saguaro, for sure!

Crested Saguaro

Crested Saguaro © 2011 Bo Mackison

Saguaros occasionally produce a fan-like formation at its tip called a crest. These crested saguaros are somewhat rare, estimated to develop only once every 100,000 saguaros.

Biologists disagree about the cause of the cresting — some hypothesize that it is a genetic mutation, while others think it might be the result of a lightning strike, freeze damage, or a virus. At this point, the cause of this rare, crested form is still a scientist’s guess.

I don;t care, what the cause, as long as it isn’t harmful to the saguaros, and all the crested ones I have seen looked healthy — and tall, too.

Next, I’ll see how a close up of a crested saguaro responds to some abstract techniques. Coming soon…


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is still wandering, bringing you photographs and natural history notes from the Sonoran Desert

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. What an incredible ‘plant’ structure. Love how it folds in on itself..the forms and lines you’ve captured here.

  2. Those are something to see. Somewhere in my archives I have photos of a huge one I ran across way back in the desert about 60 miles north of Phoenix. I always thought them to be mutations.

  3. Teenage mutant ninja Saguros. Very cool.

    This one looks regal to me.

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