Ocotillo

Ocotillo

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Ericales/Violales
Family:Fouquieriaceae
Genus:Fouquieria
Species:splendens
Binomial name
Fouquieria splendens

The ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens, is a curious desert plant of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. At first appearing to be an arrangement of large dead sticks, closer examination shows that the stems are partly green and covered (at most times of the year) with small ovate leaves.

The stems may reach a diameter of 5 cm at the base, and the plant may grow to a height of 10 m. Each stem is separate, and does not branch. The leaf stalks harden into blunt spines, and new leaves sprout from the base of the spine. The bright red flowers appear in spring and summer, occurring as a group of small tube shapes at the tip of the stem.


Ocotillo leaves


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