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Native Plant Society of Texas

Ocotillo

Fouquieria splendens

Devil's Walking Stick, Candlewood

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Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map (hover for ecoregion names)

Native Habitat: Grassland
Chihuahuan Deserts

Maintenance

Drought tolerant. Will bloom only in dry air. Very dependent on good drainage. Makes a good security fence due to spines.

Comments

Ocotillo is a spiny shrub with many long, unbranched green stems growing from the base. Stems are leafless most of the year, mostly appearing after rain. Red tubular flowers at tip of each branch. The name Ocotillo means “little pine” in Mexican Spanish. Like a pine (ocote), its stalks produce a resin. Looks best as a specimen plant.

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

6 to
20 ft

Spread

3 to
5 ft

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Gravelly, Rocky, Limestone, Dry

Light Requirement

Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Leaf Retention

Evergreen

Lifespan

Perennial

Bloom Color

Red, Orange

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer

Seasonal Interest

Seeds, Nectar, Flowers

Wildlife Benefit

Birds, Small Mammals, Nectar Insects, Hummingbirds, Bees

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Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=12172&lcationType=County&mapType=Normal. 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=FOSP2. 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Fouquieria+splendens&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 5) Wasowski, Sally and Wasowski, Andy, Native Texas Plants, Landscaping Region by Region, 1988, 1991, pg 246. 6) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 7) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=502645#null