For Native Americans, the Ocotillo was a source of both food and building materials. Until they withered in the summer's heat, the blossoms could be eaten fresh. Alternatively, they could be used to make a drink. The drink is said to be somewhat bitter but refreshing. The seed pods have a very high protein and oil content and could be ground into flour.
Branches of dead Ocotillos could also be turned into fence stakes to protect gardens from marrauding rodents.
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