Nurseries frequently offer crested forms of cactus and euphorbia, but I have never discovered the mutation growing naturally in the wild. Judging by looks, there is not much economic potential (and obviously I would not remove it in any case). The plant certainly looks very healthy, despite its unusual growth pattern.
I am back in Texas visiting family and enjoying the local flora, mostly around Comal County. The native cacti in this area are generally Opuntia species and Echinocereus reichenbachii (my ID, so take it with a grain of salt). I am particularly fond of E. reichenbachii, seen below.
The size and shape of the cactus varies but always appears attributable to growing conditions in each site. That was until today, when I found a crested form!
I had the opportunity yesterday to stroll through Carkeek sans dogs, a rare opportunity to view the garden around the Environmental Learning Center without distractions. The garden showcases drought tolerant natives, and yesterday I saw an exciting new addition, Xerophyllum tenax, a beautiful bear grass native to the Pacific Northwest.
Compared to many grasses, X. tenax has a stiffer, almost plastic texture, which creates a lovely fountain shape and displays the pale undersides of the leaves.
The tall, white blooms are stunning too, seen here on our hike to Tomie Peak Lookout in Mount Rainier National Park in late July 2016.