Ocatillo (Fouquieria splendens) is a keystone native shrub/small tree to both the warm winter Sonoran desert and the cold winter Chihuahuan desert. High Country Gardens is offering 5-year-old plants grown from seed collected in southern New Mexico (the cold, northern part of the Chihuahuan desert). Cold hardy to zone 7, this amazing species should be planted in the hottest, full-sun space in your landscape. The stems are very spiny and eventually reach over the roof of a one-story house. The brilliant scarlet flowers are an essential nectar source for hummingbirds and appear sporadically most any time of the growing season, depending when the rains materialize in winter, spring and summer. When conditions are extremely dry, the plant loses its leaves only to re-grow them after a couple of generous rains.
Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus
Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus dasycanthus) is a barrel type that is usually unbranched and grows as a single stem that will often bend in interesting directions as it reaches mature height. The huge flowers are some of the most impressive in the genus Echinocereus and are usually yellow in color. But the species is variable with local populations in west Texas and southern New Mexico having pink, red and bicolor combinations. This species likes growing conditions that are hotter and drier than other cold hardy types. Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus shouldn’t be planted in areas that get more than 12-15 inches of annual precipitation if grown in the soil.