Not Quite Crested

Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.

There are several different types of saguaro mutation that do not lead to the formation of the classic fan-shaped crest on the tip of the plant. The study of these related forms may give important insight into the underlying genetic cause of saguaro cristation. They're also just fun to look at!




Mutant Saguaros

I suspect that the same defective gene that causes the formation of fan-shaped crests (in combination with physical damage to the growing tip) also causes irregular patterns in the pleats of some saguaros.

bizarre_cristateIMG_1907_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_1915_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1647_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1453_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_2878_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_1542_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6534_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate0026_s.jpg bizarre_cristate9903_s.jpg bizarre_cristate9502_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_2597_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_8281_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6192_s.jpg

Saguaros with wavery patterns like these are known as "spiral" or "checkerboard" saguaros:

bizarre_cristateIMG_2583_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_1910_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_1987_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1313_s.jpg bizarre_cristate0409_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7655_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7718_s.jpg

bizarre_cristateIMG_5303_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5508_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6443_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6486_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7743_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7744_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_2108_s.jpg



"Y" Saguaros

Normally, a saguaro arm joins the main trunk at a ring-shaped joint. Rarely, an arm or trunk will split smoothly without the ring, forming a "Y" shape. I suspect this is also evidence of the defective gene; sometimes a "Y" is also accompanied by irregular pleating.

bizarre_cristate1451_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1328_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1639_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1759_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1456_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7825_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate1461_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1454_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1938_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1945_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1972_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_0232_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_2390_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate2042_s.jpg bizarre_cristate2045_s.jpg bizarre_cristate2056_s.jpg bizarre_cristate0416_s.jpg bizarre_cristate0234_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_0413_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_2826_s.jpg

bizarre_cristateIMG_7266_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7294_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_8002_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_2596_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_2598_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_0419_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5506_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate100_2799_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_8280_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_3018_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_2242_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5298_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5302_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5512_s.jpg

bizarre_cristateIMG_5871_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0028_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6154_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6153_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6211_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0412_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6262_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate100_3021_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0549_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6466_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0094_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0100_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0267_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7150_s.jpg

bizarre_cristateIMG_7128_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7568_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7691_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7081_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7828_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7425_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7962_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate100_3181_s.jpg bizarre_cristateSX50_IMG_1417_s.jpg



Glomerate Saguaros

These are also called "globular" saguaros. This mutation causes the arms of the saguaro to grow in rounded, tumerous masses.

bizarre_cristateIMG_5642_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7623_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_3020_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0092_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_2485_s.jpg bizarre_cristate0192_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5510_s.jpg

bizarre_cristateIMG_0040_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_2221_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1687_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1949_s.jpg bizarre_cristate0597_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5295_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_3022_s.jpg

bizarre_cristateIMG_8015_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_4543_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_4653_s.jpg bizarre_cristateSX50_IMG_1104_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate101_0117_s.jpg
2/20/2009
Going...
bizarre_cristateIMG_7437_s.jpg
5/27/2011
going...
bizarre_cristate100_4115_s.jpg
4/5/2012
going...
bizarre_cristate100_4791_s.jpg
11/19/2012
GONE!
bizarre_cristate100_4789_s.jpg
11/19/2012
On ground.



Jointed Saguaros

These are also called "segmented" or "watermelon" saguaros because the arms form in clusters of short segments (joints) which can resemble a pile of melons.

bizarre_cristate100_3604_s.jpg     bizarre_cristate1982_s.jpg     bizarre_cristateIMG_6237_s.jpg     bizarre_cristateIMG_6548_s.jpg     bizarre_cristate1507_s.jpg

bizarre_cristateIMG_2401_s.jpg     bizarre_cristateIMG_2403_s.jpg     bizarre_cristateIMG_2407_s.jpg     bizarre_cristateSX50_IMG_1279_s.jpg



Mutant Barrel Cactus

This mutation in the barrel cactus appears similar to the glomerate saguaros.

bizarre_cristate9835_s.jpg bizarre_cristate9475_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1928_s.jpg bizarre_cristate2069_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_1764_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5277_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5276_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate0013_s.jpg bizarre_cristate0041_s.jpg bizarre_cristate0407_s.jpg bizarre_cristate0420_s.jpg bizarre_cristate1098_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5206_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5208_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate100_1766_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_1824_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_1831_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_1836_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5209_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5322_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5505_s.jpg

bizarre_cristateIMG_2889_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_1908_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5929_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_5932_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6096_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_6207_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0335_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate100_0369_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0686_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0188_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0260_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0261_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0264_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_0263_s.jpg

bizarre_cristate100_0266_s.jpg bizarre_cristateIMG_7252_s.jpg bizarre_cristate100_2162_s.jpg



Back to Crested Cactuses page.





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: February 14, 2016
Copyright © 2008-2015 Joe Orman
Back to Bizarre Backroads Gallery
Back to Joe Orman's Photo Pages
Back to Joe Orman's Home Page
Please send comments or questions to
[logoaddress.jpg]