|This species is widely distributed in tropical dry forests from the upper Balsas Depression to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to Guatemala. It is sometimes grown as a living fence. This is the species that most resembles a conventional tree.|
|The images above and to the left, as well as the flowers below, are from the tropical dry forest of southwestern Puebla|
most species of Fouquieria, F.
formosa often flowers when leafless.
flowers of this species are distinctive for their bright orange-red
color. The images to the left and above are from the tropical dry
forest of southwestern Puebla.
|The photo on the
left is from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southeastern Oaxaca, in view
of the Pacific Ocean.
remarkable species is endemic to a small area in southwestern Puebla
state where it forms spectacular groves of huge, umbrella shaped spiny
trees reminiscent of the Didiereaceae forests of Madagascar.
trunk of F.
ochoterenae is one of the most beautiful in the
genus. In the wet season, the trunk is usually green with snazzy gray
stripes. In the dry season, the green tends to turn orange, as in this
photo. The trunk is often home to species of the bromeliad Tillandsia.
flowers of F. ochoterenae are
very distinctive, each having a short, deep red corolla surmounted by a
shaving brush of stamens.
|Fouquieria ochoterenae growing with
Bursera longipes (at left) at a newly
discovered locality for the species north of its better known haunts.
|With its massive green trunk and spiny branches that remind me of the trail of sparks left by skyrockets, F. purpusii is a very striking element of the dry tropical forest of the Puebla-Oaxaca border region of the Valley of Tehuacán. The plant grows here and there on limestone ridges in small groves. In these photos you can see some of the plants that grow with this species, including some Bursera species as well as the columnar cactus Cephalocereus columna-trajani.|
spectacularly ornamental plants
of the Tehuacán Valley, such as Beaucarnea gracilis, it is still
common to find juveniles and even small seedlings F. purpusii. The
bark of this species is wonderfully varied from plant to plant and
along the length of the trunk. The spines on young stems give way to
gray corky plates amid a lovely green rind.
|This species is
remarkable for having the smallest spines of the genus. It grows in
dense tropical dry forest in the central Balsas Depression in Guerrero
State, and closely resembles the Bursera
and Jatropha shrubs and trees
that it grows with. It has deep red flowers borne at the tips of the
|Endemic to the Sonoran Desert of the Baja California Peninsula and a tiny part of Sonora, the cirio or Boojum tree creates one of the most remarkable biological landscapes on earth. It has two kinds of stems: massive succulent trunks filled with water storing tissue, and skinny lateral branches clothed with spines and small leaves during the brief biannual rains.|
|Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens
|The ocotillo is the most widely known species of the genus because it has a very wide range in northern Mexico and the southwestern US. The photo on the left is from Arizona.|
ocotillo is famed for leafing out in response to even slight rainfall.
This area of the central Baja California desert had received a thorough
soaking and all the ocotillos were green.
|Fouquieria splendens ssp. campanulata|
|This is the southern subspecies of ocotillo. It is entirely restricted to Mexico, where it can be found as far south as Hidalgo state. This subspecies tends to be more spreading and less erect than ssp. splendens and is often covered with Tillandsia. This photo is from Guanajuato where the plants were growing on sheer limestone cliffs.|
|In some places, such
as this Guanajuato hillside, F.
ssp. campanulata forms dense, spiny
|With its widly upward-arching stems, this small shrubby species cuts a strange figure on the Coahuila gypsum flats that are its only known habitat.|
has very spiny branches and extremely distinctive orange stems.
species, F. macdougalii is
from the mainland Sonoran Desert. This photo is from northern Sinaloa,
where this Fouquieria (on the
right) was growing amid Bursera
(the tree on the left) and the columnar cactus Stenocereus thurberi.
shrubby species grows only in southern Baja California, near the Gulf
of California on the peninsula and on some of the Gulf islands. The
plant has very distinctive and beautiful pale pink to white flowers.
|One of the most remarkably odd
plants you will ever see anywhere, Fouquieria
fasciculata has a massive, bloated trunk that tapers sharply
into spiny branches. It is shown growing here in habitat with Astrophytum ornatum at lower right,
Cephalocereus senilis at far right.
|The species grows only on steep
slopes and canyons in the Metztitlán area of Hidalgo west to
ajdacent Querétaro. This is a beautiful and fascinating pocket
of dry tropical vegetation well above 1000 m in elevation. Here they
are covered in epiphytes Tillandsia
recurvata and T. usneoides.
|The species is easilty
distinguished from the other central Mexican bottle Fouquieria, F. purpusii by its
rounded leaves and fine, reddish spines.
fasciculata readily produces its sprays of small white
flowers. Fouquieria purpusii
and F. columnaris also
produce white flowers. These flowers have been pollinated and their
ovaries are growing into fruits.
have photos of F.
diguetii, which I will
should I ever come across them.
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