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.

Family: Fouquieriaceae

Synonym(s): Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens

USDA Symbol: FOSP2

Duration: Perennial

Habit: Shrub

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

ATTRIBUTION: All of the Texas Wildflower images in this post are copyrighted and are the exclusive property of Terry B. Kahler. Reproduction without explisit written consent is prohibited. Some of the information contained in this section was taken from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website and is being used under their terms of use. Redistribution from this site is prohibited. Additional information contained in this section was taken from the USDA website including the USDA code.

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