Dioon mejiae

Dioon mejiae

Dioon mejiae or Honduras Dioon is a beautiful Cycas from Honduras and Nicaragua, where it grows in large numbers.

Its overall shape resembles that of Dioon spinulosum but the leaf margins are smooth, only the petioles are covered with thorns.

Like with most cycads, growth is very slow.

Description:

The leaves are green, very glossy, flat, 1-2 m long. Each sheet bears 120-200 leaflets that 12 to 22 cm long and 12-17 mm wide.

The male flowers are fusiform, light brown, 30-80 cm long and 8 to 10 cm in diameter.

The female flowers are ovoid, light brown, 30-50 cm long and 20 to 30 cm in diameter.

The seeds are ovoid, 40-50 mm long and 30-40 mm wide. The sarcotesta (outer layer of the seed) is cream colored or white.

Usage:

Ornamental. Seeds are used to produce flour, but recent studies have demonstrated that all cycads contain carcinogens and neurotoxic substances.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Honduras dioon, Mejia’s Dioon, Palma teosinte, teocinte, teocinta, teocintle, teocsinte, teosinte, tiusinte, tusinte

Synonym:

Dioon edule var. latipinnium

Etymologie:

Dioon: from the Greek dis (two) and oon (eggs)
Mejiae: in honor of Dr. Isidoro Mejiae who first described it

Origin:

Honduras, Nicaragua

Habitat:

Dry rocky canyons, between 0 and 1,000 m altitude.

Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-11, -5 °C during brief periods

Care:

Soil:

Well drained, dry, sandy mix

Exposure:

Sun

Water:

Let the substrate dry out between waterings

Feed:

Tolerates nutrient-poor and dry soil but regular fertilizing will promote growth

Propagation:

Seed, suckers

Sowing instructions:

  • soak for 1 day in tepid water
  • sow right beneath the surface in a 1/1 mix of sand and peat
  • moisten
  • 25 °C
  • germination: 1-3 months

Image sources

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