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  Carnegia gigantea forma cristata
 
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Carnegia gigantea forma cristata
The crested Saguaro is a rare and very valuable plant, sought after by cactus collectors.
 

The cause of cresting: The cause of cresting is not fully explained;  biologists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning strike or freeze damage, but whatever the stimulus, the growth point of the stem has switched from a geometric point, to a line, which folds and undulates as the crest expands. Though these crested saguaros are somewhat rare (1 in 250,000), cresting occurs naturally throughout the range of the Saguaro, and can be encountered in many other cactus species.
In the ontogenesis a crest can appear any time, but development of crests on large columnar cactus species ( such as the saguaro Carnegia gigantea) in the early stages of ontogenesis is unlikely. On the other hand, small species may crest early already at the cotyledons stage

 

 

 

Cultivation: Saguaros grow very slowly and are cold intolerant.   Make sure that your saguaros are not exposed to freezing temperatures, or they may die.  The plant needs a well drained soil mix.  Water regularly in summer, but allow to dry fully before watering again.  During the winter months they should be rather kept dry.  Since they are big sized plants, they need plenty of space for their roots.  Repotting should be done every other year, or when the plant has outgrown its pot.  Exposure: Light shade when young, full sun later.

Propagation: Grafting, since cutting root hardly.
 

 

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Lobivia (Echinopsis) pentlandii .
 
of plants belonging to the Lobivia... complex
(This Taxon has lots of synonyms (like most Lobivia), with several controversial varieties and subspecies):

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Carnegia gigantea (Englem.) Brit & Rose forma cristata

Origin:  USA Arizona

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common NameCrested Saguaro

Synonyms:

  • Cereus giganteus forma cristata
 



The "crested, or "cristate" saguaro is an example of a natural but rare occurrence (1 in 250,000), in which the growing tip of the plant becomes a line instead of a point, causing a fan shape to develop.
 



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti