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Ocotillo Cactus

Fouquieria splendens

Ocotillo cactus with green leaves

The ocotillo cactus looks like a bunch of dead sticks for most of the year, but when it begins to rain the plant quickly develops small, green leaves and eventually bright red flowers in the spring or summer. After blooming, the ocotillo's leaves dry up and fall off and the cactus returns to its dead-looking state.

Ocotillo cactus with green leaves next to a prickly pear

The ocotillo is also called the coachwhip, Jacob's staff, and the vine cactus. It can grow as high as 30 feet; stems reach about 2-3 inches in diameter.

SpeciesF. splendens

Cactus & Succulents

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