Fouquieria splendens 25 Seeds - Ocotillo

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Fouquieria splendens, commonly called ocotillo, is a semi-succulent desert plant that belongs to the family Fouquieriaceae. F. splendens is natively found in southwestern United States and northern Mexico. This species tends to branch heavily at the base but ceases to branch further, creating clusters of long 10 to 20 foot tall pole-like stems. Each stem is covered in woody thorns that help the plant photosynthesis when it drops its leaves. This species has small green deciduous oval like leaves that emerge after heavy rains. F. splendens typically blooms in spring and early summer with small tubular shaped red flowers. This species has many uses by the people that live in the area with it. Branches can be cut and propagated as fence posts to create a living fence. The flowers are edible and have a tangy flavor which is typically used to make teas or added whole to salads. A bark tincture has been known to aid in fluid congestion in the body. The flowers and roots are also used in baths to soothe fatigue and on wounds to slow down bleeding. Fouquieria splendens grows best in full sun sitting in well draining soil. Water the plant adequately in hotter months allowing the soil to dry out in between waterings. Avoid watering in colder winter months and keep out of high humidity as this species is prone to rot. USDA hardiness zone 8 through 11.

Fouquieria splendens seeds benefit from light scarification of their hard seed coat before sowing. This can be achieved with fine grit sandpaper or nicking with a nail clipper but make sure to not damage the embryo inside. After scarification, let the seeds soak in warm water for 24 hours. Cloning boxes, ziplock bags, and other containers that retain humidity are ideal to store sown pots. Use a well-draining sterilized cactus soil mix. Next, sow the seeds 1⁄4 inch deep or surface sow and lightly cover them with potting mixture. Germinating pots should be kept indoors, out of extreme light and heat. Ideal germination temperatures range from 70°F to 85°F. Germination typically takes 4 to 8 weeks to occur. Even with optimal conditions, germination may be slow and sporadic.



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