Ocotillo
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The Ocotillo (Fonquieria splendens),
is an inverted, funnel-shaped desert plant with several woody, spiny, whip-like, straight branches angling outward from the base and rising as high as 20 feet.
It can be relied on to bloom annually and is leafless most of the year, except immediately after rain. Then leaves are bright green and bright red flowers grow in bunches at the end of the stems.
The scarlet tubular flowers offer popular nectar to hummingbirds and bats.

A delicious sun tea can be made with the flowers and the tea of the bark is an herb that has also been used as a poultice to reduce swelling and inflammation.

The stems are sometimes cut and then
re-planted in the ground side by side to create and impenetrable fence because
of the thorny spines on the branches. ------------------------------ Sandy Thomas

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