Jun 092012

Here are 3 pictures of an Ocotillo plant with their gorgeous flowers. I took these pictures out at Ethel M’s in Henderson, NV on a visit.

If you think you have seen these by another name, you may be right. The Fouquieria Spenden is also commonly known by names such as Coachwhip, Vine Cactus, Jacob’s Staff and Flaming Sword.

Some people say they would use these as natural fences as they get some nasty spines and can grow 20+ feet tall. I sure wouldn’t try to fight my way through one of these.

They do have very leathery leaves, but only for a couple of day’s right after it rains. To preserve water, they drop leaves fast. These pictured here do have a watering system. As you can tell by the Prickly Pear Cactus next to them, they are well hydrated.


You can find these from Southern California to West Texas and down into Northern Mexico. They love the dry well drained soil. They have shallow roots that spread wide.

Hummingbirds and bees love the flowers of the Ocotillo.

This plant also can be started from seed, cuttings or bare root.

The flowers can be dried and used as tea. I haven’t ever tried it, so I have no idea what it would taste like or if it would be healthy.

They can be attacked by a beetle that will lay its eggs in the stems.


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