Position: Full sun to partial shade
Flowering period: N/A
Soil: Moist, well drained
Eventual Height: 12m (usually 1.5m in cultivation)
Eventual Spread: 3.5m (usually 1.8m in cultivation)
Hardiness: 9b, 10a, 10b, 11
Dioon spinulosum is a slow growing, long lived evergreen Cycad. Its mid green leaves are up to 2m long, arching, contain up to 240 leaflets. Its forms a trunk which may achieve a diameter of up to 40cm. This plant is dioecious. Its pale brown female ‘cones’ are egg shaped, up to 30cm long and covered in dense wool.
Dioon spinulosum, commonly known as Giant Dioon or Gum Palm, is native to the east coast and south of Mexico. In its native habitat it grows in rocky hillsides in tropical rainforests. is considered to be Endangered in its native habitat according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The etymological root of the binomial name Dioon is derived from the Greek dis menaing ‘twice’ and yon menaing ‘egg’. Spinulosum is derived from the Latin spinosum meaning ‘thorny’.
The landscape architect may find Dioon spinulosum useful as an unusual specimen houseplant providing adequate light is provided. It is suitable for use a part of conservatory or atrium planting schemes. Care should be taken when locating this plant as it is extremely spiny.
Ecologically, Dioon spinulosum is of little value to UK wildlife.
Dioon spinulosum prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid to neutral pH of soil.
When maintaining Dioon spinulosum as a houseplant its soil should be watered regularly. Watering should be reduced during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 16ºc to 24ºc, although it will tolerate a temperature as low as freezing briefly. Feeding with weak fertiliser solution should be carried out once a month during the growing season.