The Saguaro Cactus only grows in the southeastern region of California and the southern part of Arizona, USA. Despite its small habitat, the Saguaro Cactus has become an emblem of the American desert regions.
The Saguaro Cactus has a tall, thick, and soft stem. Its trunk has a diameter of approximately 0.6 meters, with multiple small branches growing upward. It is considered the most uniquely structured cactus species in the world. However, in recent years, many Saguaro Cacti have developed additional small fan-shaped branches at the top of each branch. Approximately 1 in 200,000 Saguaro Cacti exhibit this fan-shaped mutation.
Currently, scientists have not determined the exact cause of the fan-shaped branch mutation in the Saguaro Cactus. Several hypotheses, such as genetic factors or microbial infection, have been proposed but face significant opposition. One widely supported hypothesis suggests that the crown of the flower has been compromised by natural factors (microorganisms) and human interference (mechanical causes), resulting in deformity. The fan-like growth on the top does not harm the cactus.
There is an increasing number of Saguaro Cacti exhibiting this fan-shaped mutation, with more of them appearing each day.
A normal Saguaro Cactus has an upright trunk with a round crown.
There is approximately one Saguaro Cactus with a fan-shaped mutation for every 200,000 plants.
Currently, there are around 2,000 fan-shaped Saguaro Cacti worldwide.
The fan-shaped mutation occurs due to damage to the crown of the cactus.
The fan-shaped growth does not significantly affect the cactus.