Fouquieria splendens – Ocotillo
Scientific Name: Fouquieria splendens
Common Names: Ocotillo, Candlewood, Coach Whip, Coachwhip
Duration: Perennial, Deciduous
Growth Habit: Shrub, Unusual Shrub
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert. This distinctive plant is a common sight in the Sonoran Desert.
Flower Color: Red
Flowering Season: Spring, Summer (early)
Height: To 20 feet (6 m) tall
Description: The flowers are in tapering, lopsided clusters at the tips of the spiny, slender, woody canes (whip-like branches). The individual flowers are tubular, 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and have 5 lobes. When present, the leaves are green, alternate, and oval or egg-shaped. The canes are leafless for much of the year, only leafing out after rains.
Edible – The flower buds, the sweet, nectar-filled flowers, and the seeds are edible.
Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds and orioles.
Legal Status – Protected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Fouquieriaceae – Ocotillo family
Genus: Fouquieria Kunth – ocotillo
Species: Fouquieria splendens Engelm. – ocotillo
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