Fouquieria splendens Sierra Co, NM
Item #: 12442
Zones: 8a to 10b, at least
Height: 240" tall
Origin: United States
Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L) ?
Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.
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Ocotillo is one of those signature plants that draws your attention when you visit the Southwest US desert. Although many folks assume it to be a cactus, ocotillo is so bizarre, it's sequestered by taxonomists in its own family, Fouquieriaceae. Fouqueria splendens is native throughout the Chihuhuan and Sonoran Deserts from Texas through California. The naked upright stems can reach 20', and appear dead until rain causes the leaves to emerge, which can then remain for over a month until disappearing. The key to success with ocotillo in the garden is locating it in a very dry site, since in the wild, it survives on less than 8" of rain annually. If you're lucky enough to grow one to maturity, you'll enjoy the fascinating terminal flowers of bright scarlet...a hummingbird favorite. Our offerings, from a seed collection in Sierra County, New Mexico are 2+ year old from seed...painfully slow.