Fouquieria splendens

Fouquieria splendens, Ocotillo, courtesy of Melody Lytle

Fouquieria splendens, commonly known as Ocotillo, Coachwhip, Coachwhip Cactus, Vine Cactus, Slimwood, Jacob's Staff, Candlewood, Albarda, Barda, Ocote and Ochotilla, is a medium-large sized shrub (height: to fifteen feet; width to six feet) that likes full sun and can tolerate drought and very high temperatures. This dedciduous shrub is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

"Characteristic of the Trans-Pecos's Chihuahuan Desert, Ocotillo is one of its most unmistakable shrubs, with long, wand-like, thorny branches that rise from the crown. In the spring brilliant red flowers bloom from the ends of the stems. Small bright green leaves appear in response to rains and disappear with drought. It is common in desert flats and also on slopes and mesas from sea level to 6,000 feet, growing on rocky, shallow, calcareous or igneous soils, usually over caliche."

Fouquieria splendens, Ocotillo, courtesy of Melody Lytle

"Ocotillo's flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. It is often used to make living fences. Since it roots so easily, one can just put cuttings directly in the ground."

The fruit is an "ovoid capsule containing many flat, winged seeds."

The following Saturniidae species utilize Fouquieria splendens as a larval host.

Eupackardia calleta
Hemileuca electra

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This page is presented by Bill Oehlke. This site is presented as an extension of the
World's Largest Saturniidae Site, a private worldwide silkmoth site,
Caterpillars Too!, a private North American butterfly site featuring images of caterpillars,
Sphingidae of the Americas, a free public access site with pictures and information about the Sphingidae (Hawkmoths) of the Americas.

Plant information is from Aggie Horticulture

Larval hostplant lists have been compiled from the Natural History Museum's
HOSTS - a database of the world's Lepidopteran hostplants