There is only one genus in the fouquieriaceae
family, and, in the US, only one species, the distinctive ocotillo plant that grows in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. Another ten species are found over the border in Mexico. Plants produce straight, spiny, woody stems, usually unbranched, which bear small leaves only for a short time in spring; they soon wither, shortly before flowering. The inflorescence is a cluster of small flowers at the branch tips; individual flowers have five sepals enclosing a fused tube of five petals, colored red or white.