- A spiny scarlet-flowered desert shrub of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, which is sometimes planted as a hedge.
“The bright scarlet-flowered ocotillo serves as the perfect hedge between our yard and the neighbor’s.”
“At the nursery, I asked for a recommendation of a local plant to grow in the arid climate, and the gardener recommended the ocotillo.”
“The ocotillo desert shrub grows prolifically around the southwestern United States.”
Nahuatl, mid-19th century
Why this word?
The name of the ocotillo plant comes from the Nahuatl word “ocotl,” which means “torch,” appropriate for the flame-colored, spiky shrub. The Latin name is “Fouquieria splendens,” from the family Fouquieriaceae.
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