Golden Saguaros

I've looked at literally millions of saguaros in my travels, and these are the only ones I've ever seen with this yellow coloring. Cactuses with non-uniform coloration are known as variegated cactuses. Variegation is due to a rare mutation wherein the plant's meristematic tissue loses the ability to produce cholorplasts, causing a lack of chlorophyll in the epidermis..



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This saguaro has two arms that are a bright yellow color instead of green. Variegation usually occurs in irregular blotches; for a complete arm to be discolored like this is very rare.
Thanks to Phil K. for directing me to this cactus.
Last Visited: January 2012. Now gone due to road construction.



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This armless saguaro is the normal green color at its base, but gradually transitions to bright yellow.
Last Visited: May 2013.



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This saguaro has a small patch of yellow on one side of one arm.
Last Visited: September 2013.



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One side of one arm of this saguaro is yellow.
Last Visited: November 2013.



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This short saguaro has an irregular patch of yellow running up one side.
Last Visited: December 2013.



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This saguaro has just a small patch of yellow high on one side.
Last Visited: February 2014.



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One entire side of this short saguaro is bright yellow.
Last Visited: November 2014.



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This entire saguaro is colored yellow / yellow-green.
Last Visited: April 2015.



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Telephoto shot of twin saguaros that are such a pale yellow that they appear to be "albino" saguaros.
Last Visited: November 2015.



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A single "albino" saguaro not far from the twins shown above.
Last Visited: November 2015.



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The top half of this saguaro arm is a bright yellow.
Last Visited: December 2015.



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This entire saguaro is colored yellow / yellow-green.
Last Visited: January 2016.



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A small patch of yellow on one arm is the only clue that this saguaro is variegated.
Last Visited: February 2016.



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Telephoto shot of yellow / yellow-green saguaro in the distance.
Last Visited: February 2016.



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Telephoto shot of golden saguaro in the distance.
Last Visited: February 2016.
Thanks to Don E. for giving me directions to this saguaro.



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Full golden saguaro.
Last Visited: March 2016.
Thanks to Don E. for giving me directions to this saguaro.



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One side of this armless saguaro is pale yellow at its base, but gradually transitions to bright yellow at it tip.
Last Visited: March 2016.



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One side of this armless saguaro is yellow at its base, the other side the normal green.
Last Visited: April 2016.



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One arm of this saguaro is mostly yellow, with some green patches.
Last Visited: April 2017.



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One arm of this saguaro is mostly yellow, with some green patches.
Last Visited: April 2017.



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Telephoto shot - this short armless saguaro is completely yellow.
Last Visited: April 2017.



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Telephoto shot - this short armless saguaro is mostly yellow.
Last Visited: September 2017.



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The top half of this armless saguaro is solid yellow.
Last Visited: December 2017.



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This short saguaro is a solid golden color.
Last Visited: March 2018.



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Extend-O-Cam view - this saguaro has one short golden arm.
Last Visited: February 2020.



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Extend-O-Cam view - this saguaro has two small golden arms.
Last Visited: February 2020.



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Irregular yellow patches run up the sides of this saguaro.
Last Visited: April 2020.



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Telephoto shot - this saguaro is almost completely yellow.
Last Visited: April 2020.


Locations undisclosed to prevent vandalism.

Standard disclaimer: Sites are described for entertainment purposes only, as they were at the time of my last visit. I can not vouch for the current condition of the site or its accessibility.


Revised: June 1, 2020
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