Learned something fascinating today! The saguaro cactus (Carnegia gigantea) is a truly iconic symbol of this desert region. Today I saw a cristate or “crested” saguaro which form when the cells in the growing stem begin to divide outward, rather than in the circular pattern of a normal cactus. This is an unusual mutation which results in the growth of a large fan-shaped crest at the growing tip of a saguaro’s main stem or arms. The cause for this mutation is unknown. I feel lucky to have seen one! 🌵Cristate saguaro are fairly rare. Scientists estimate that for every 200,000 normal cacti, there is one abnormal crest. A perfect beginning to 2018!