Ocotillo, a cactus-like desert shrub also called candlewood, coach-whip, vine cactus, and Jacob's staff. It is found in exposed places in arid regions of Mexico and the southwestern United States. It resembles a clump of straight, gray-green sticks, each 8 to 20 feet (2.4 to 6 m) tall and less than one inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Each stem is heavily thorned and is leafless except for a short period in spring, when ocotillos produce small leaves along each stem and groups of brilliant scarlet flowers at the ends of the stems. Ocotillos are used in Mexico for hedge plants and are cultivated in the United States for their unusual appearance and striking flowers.
The ocotillo is Fouquieria splendens. It is the only cultivated species of the five in the single genus of the family Fouquieriaceae.Ocotillo is a thorny scarlet-flowered candlewood with many long, spiny stems.