Fouquieria splendens

Common Name: Ocotillo, Coachwhip
Oˊodham Names: Melhog  Audio     Flower: Hiosig  Audio
Group: Succulents - Desert, Desert Grassland, Chaparral (lower)

Fouquieria splendens has a short trunk that opens into a funnel shaped assembly of canes having photosynthetic bark. The canes have a sparse covering of inch long spines that form axils where leaves emerge after a good rain. In May, large racemes of orange to red bullet-shaped flowers emerge from the tips of the canes. It grows on coarse, gravelly, or rocky soils between 1500 and 4000 ft elevation.
Ocotillo is used for fencing by the Tohono Oˊodham. The cut, buried stems often root creating a living fence. The flowers can be soaked in cold water to make a refreshing beverage.

entire plant
stems (November)
stems (May)

Kingdom Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Solanales
Family Fouquieriaceae - Ocotillo family
Genus Fouquieria Kunth - ocotillo
Species Fouquieria splendens Engelm. - ocotillo
More Information
USDA Plant Profile and Map

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