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Item ID: 3
Family: Fouquieriaceae
Genus: Fouquieria
Species: splendens
Common Name: Ocotillo (oh-koh-TEE-yo), Candlewood, Jacob's Staff, Coachwhip
Habitat: Found at elevations of 3000 to 6500 feet elevation in rocky, gravelly hillsides and especially areas where limestone soils are common. Sandy plains are also a favorite for the Ocotillo.
Range: Fouquieria splendens can be found native to southern California, the extreme southern region of Nevada, western and southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, southwestern Texas. It also occurs in Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
Care: The Ocotillo is a very drought tolerant plant and can take quite a lot of abuse. It can be dug up and transplanted after many days out of the soil. To best insure good health it is best to plant your Ocotillo deep enough for adequate support and to keep the long slender stems moist with a garden hose until it is well established.
Propagation: Propagation is best from seed. Cuttings may not produce a very attractive plant.
Size: Stems can grow anywhere from 9 to 30 feet tall with spines to 1.5 inches long, spread to 15ft.
Shape: Clustering
Flowers: Red flowers in the spring. Leaves occur whenever there is plentiful moisture.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Mark Dimmitt ©2002

Ocotillo is a drought-deciduous shrub. It can have anywhere from 6 to 100 wand like branches that grow from the root crown. The growth rate is very slow.

Author Comments
This is an old classical desert dweller that should always be given our attention. It is a very slow growing species so please understand that a small plant can take many years to reach specimen proportions. This plant is very attractive during the summer monsoon rains as the green leaves come forth and the plant begins to breathe a little relief.

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