Dr. Overy's KBase: Resources for Teaching and Learning

The Ocotillo

Article ID: 34
Last updated: 13 Feb, 2022

The Ocotillo has numerous long spiny greyish-brown stems.  In Spring it provides red-orange tubular flowers.  It can grow to 30' (9m). Its shallow roots are widely spread , allowing maximum collection of water. 

It is able to grow bright green leaves rapidly after a heavy rain.  This allows increase production of food (through photosynthesis) .  During dry spells, the leaves drop off. Photosynthesis can still continue, at a greatly reduced rate, in the green tissue of its numerous stems.  In the monsoon season  it is amazing to see how quickly the leaves can grow again!

Uses of this plant : Outer bark is made into an extract or tea which stimulates lymphatic movement in lower body.  Used internally to treat varicose veins, haemorrhoids, benign prostate enlargement, poor pelvic circulation, bladder congestion and constipation.  The root is used as a cough medicine and by the Apaches for fatigue, and swollen, tired limbs.  Powdered root is used as a dressing for wounds and swelling.  Hibiscus-like tea is made from the flowers.  Apaches used the stalk for fences and also for spiritual healing hoops.
Article ID: 34
Last updated: 13 Feb, 2022
Revision: 2
Views: 76
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