Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)
Description: Ocotillo is a spiny shrub to 20 ft. with many long, whip-like, unbranched green stems growing from the base. Stems are leafless most of the year, covering themselves with bright green leaves after a rain. A funnel-shaped plant with several woody, almost unbranched, spiny, commonly straight stems leafless most of the year, and a tight cluster of red flowers at tip of each branch. Scarlet, tubular-shaped flowers are held in terminal clusters. The family consists of about 11 species, mostly in Mexico, with Ocotillo (pronounced o-ko-tee-yo) the most northern, and perhaps the Boojum Tree (F. columnaris) of Baja California the most unusual. Leaves appear only after rain and wither when the soil dries, a cycle commonly repeated several times during the warm season. The name Ocotillo means little pine in Mexican Spanish, a reference to the fact that, like a pine (ocote), its stalks produce a resin used by humans for various purposes.
Synonym(s): Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens
USDA Symbol: FOSP2
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom Color: Red, Orange
Bloom Time: Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul
Water Use: Low
Light Requirements: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Bloom Notes: Soil Description: Sandy or rocky soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Limestone-based, Igneous
Conditions Comments: Drought tolerant. Tall, spreading stems with thorns form an impenetrable enclosure.
Missing Images: Plant, Close-Up, Fruit-Seed
Data Completeness: Complete