Scottsdale Plants: A Rare Crested Saguaro

Real Estate Agent with Realty ONE Group

Crested Sagauro at Apache Clubhouse Desert Mountain Scottsdale

- Scottsdale Arizona Plants and Cacti: A Rare Crested Saguaro-

Whether you are a full-time resident or seasonal visitor, it is hard to not admire the large, stunning saguaro cacti we are fortunate enough to enjoy all over Scottsdale.

Once in a while, you will see a saguaro like the one on the left. It is a rare condition called a crested saguaro or cristate saguaro. It is unknown how or why this happens, but some top theories include lightning damage, a genetic mutation or frost damage. Regardless of the cause, a crested saguaro is extremely rare. Experts estimate that this only happens in 1 to 100,000 to 200,000 saguaros.

This particular cactus is located outside the Apache Clubhouse at the Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale. What makes it even more unique is that arms continued to grow out of the crested area. Usually you just see the crest at the top of the cactus.

Some Quick Facts about Saguaro Cacti:

  • You will only find saguaro cacti in the Sonoran Desert.
  • Saguaro cacti take a very long time to grow. A new saguaro takes at least eight years to grow to a height of 1-1.5 inches.
  • They produce their first flowers at 35 years.
  • The first branches or arms do not come until the saguaro is 50-70 years old.
  • Saguaros are not considered adult cacti until they are 125 years old.
  • It is believed the typical lifespan for a saguaro is 150-175 years.
  • Saguaro have very shallow root bases. So, when you see a saguaro propped up with wooden beams, it is typically a newly planted one that needs time for the roots to get established.
  • A mature saguaro can have up to 25 arms.
  • Saguaros can reach heights in excess of 50 feet. It is the tallest of the cactus species.
  • The saguaro is mostly made up of water, which makes it a very heavy plant. For instance, a 50 foot saguaro could clock in at around 8 tons.
  • The Saguaro National Park is located down in Tucson and is truly a sight to see.


Originally posted on Live Better in Scottsdale


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Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker
Janisch & Co. - Conroe, TX
Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
That's a pretty cool looking saguaro. I don't think I've seen anything like that before.
Feb 26, 2013 09:38 AM #1
Heather Tawes Nelson
Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Associate Broker, ABR, CLHMS, CRS - Scottsdale, AZ

Thanks Jeanne and Ralph- They are quite rare and even more so with the additional arms growing from the top.  I think it kind of looks like a person with a fun headdress on. :)

Feb 26, 2013 09:49 AM #2
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Heather Tawes Nelson

Associate Broker, ABR, CLHMS, CRS - Scottsdale, AZ
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