Definition of ocotillo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌəʊkəˈtiːjəʊ/

noun (plural ocotillos)

chiefly US
A spiny scarlet-flowered desert shrub of the south-western US and Mexico, which is sometimes planted as a hedge.
  • Fouquieria splendens, family Fouquieriaceae
Example sentences
  • Yet in another area hit by a recent heavy rain, the ironwood trees and the spiny ocotillos are flush with new green leaves.
  • You'll traverse a series of high valleys, ravines, and washes filled with a variety of plants, including purple barrel cactus and stands of ocotillos.
  • The most common shrubs are creosote bush, ocotillo, and bur sage.


Mid 19th century: via American Spanish (diminutive form) from Nahuatl ocotl 'torch'.

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