The ocotillo plant (Fouquieria splendens) is desert shrub that produces a spectacle of bright red/orange flowers on whip-like canes. It is often called ocotillo cactus, but is not truly a cactus, although it grows in similar conditions. The plant is native to the Sonoron and Chihuahuan deserts.
The canes may grow up to 20 feet long in nature but are more likely to get 6 to 10 feet in cultivation. Ocotillo is suitable for xeriscapes, rock gardens and warm climate container gardens. Growing Ocotillo provides architectural interest and fantastic color displays of bright red to pink flowers. The ocotillo plant is a succulent with good drought tolerance once established and a cold hardiness of 10 F. (-12 C.). Growing ocotillo requires a well-drained soil in full sun. Ocotillo plant tends to lose its leaves when exposed to extreme drought but leafs out in spring and summer rains.