Ocotillo is not a cactus. It is in its own plant family. Most of the year it looks like a bundle of dried sticks, but whenever it gets enough water, it will be covered with small green leaves. The leaves fall off as the ground dries and then the plant flowers. In some places ocotillo grows all over the hillsides like huge clumps of grass. If you cut off one of the branches and stick in the ground and water it, it will start growing.