John's Nature Pictures

Ocotillo Cactus

Here's a strange plant. Each of those stalks has an arsenal of strong thorns. The red flowers grow on the end, sometimes twelve feet above the ground. Unlike a normal cactus, Ocotillo has leaves. They cover the stalks in spring, which is February and March. Usually the leaves are gone before the flowers arrive. The rest of the year the plant appears to be dead. It also has many common names, including:   Candlewood, Coachwhip, Jacob's Staff and Vine Cactus.     Fouquieria splendens   (Cactus family)

Picture #127 -  copyright © 1994 by John Sherman


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