”Endless Forms Most Beautiful” is a cactus garden installed on the grounds of the ASU campus.

“Genetic mutations can create new and sometimes beautiful forms of life, like the crested cacti featured in this garden. Cells in these crested cacti get mutations during development that make them grow more than normal, creating beautiful sculptural forms as they develop. This condition is similar to cancer in humans and other animals. Part of being a multicellular organism means having cells that divide and sometimes mutate during development. This is a garden of optimism because many forms of life – like the beautiful cacti in this garden – live with mutated cells.”

ASU cactus garden

Support for the garden comes from the National Cancer Institute, the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center, ASU Biodesign Institute, ASU’s Frankenstein Bicentennial Project, ASU Office of the University Architect and Facility Management Grounds Department, the MOORE / SWICK partnership landscape architects, TRUEFORM landscape architecture studio, Airpark Signs, Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, and people who have been impacted by cancer. This garden was created by Athena Aktipis, Carlo Maley, Pamela Winfrey from ASU, Caspian Robertson of Caspian Gardens (London), and many dedicated landscape architects and gardeners.

Photo credit: Marrioth Ling Alfonzo Morales