oco·​ti·​llo | \ ˌō-kə-ˈtē-(ˌ)yō How to pronounce ocotillo (audio) \
plural ocotillos

Definition of ocotillo

: a thorny scarlet-flowered candlewood (Fouquieria splendens of the family Fouquieriaceae) of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico

Illustration of ocotillo

Illustration of ocotillo

Examples of ocotillo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web A million lights drape saguaros, ocotillos and paloverde trees as luminarias guide visitors along shimmering pathways through the park’s 49 acres. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Here's where to see the best Christmas lights around Arizona," 22 Nov. 2019 In Presidio, Randy Kennedy’s debut novel, the landscape of the Panhandle, West Texas, and the Mexican border, with its caliche and shin oaks and pumpjacks and ocotillo, brushes alongside the plot like an intricate central character. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "In Randy Kennedy’s Presidio, a Startling Road Trip Thriller Full of Twists and Turns," 17 Aug. 2018 Social media was filled with images of the vast fields of desert sunflowers, purple verbena, or fiery red ocotillo flowers. Ernie Cowan Outdoors, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Don’t expect epic bloom this season, but visit to desert still in order," 29 Jan. 2018 Mexican beige pebbles and Malibu landscape boulders came next, followed by aloes, succulents, Beaucarnea recurvata, ocotillo and camellia. Lisa Boone, latimes.com, "A Venice homeowner removed the lawn and replaced it with this colorful landscape," 12 Sep. 2017 Spotting a great blue heron in flight over a field of cactus and ocotillo in the Borrego desert just didn’t seem right. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Thanks to wetlands, heron not out of place in the desert," 21 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ocotillo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ocotillo

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ocotillo

Mexican Spanish, diminutive of ocote, a resinous pine tree (Pinus montezuma), from Nahuatl ocotl pine, torch made of pine

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Time Traveler for ocotillo

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The first known use of ocotillo was in 1856

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Statistics for ocotillo

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ocotillo.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ocotillo. Accessed 15 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on ocotillo

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ocotillo

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