Dioon - Palm-like Shrubs

Cycad Plants

Cycad Plants

What is Dioon?

Dioon is a cycads genus native to Central America and Mexico. It belongs to the Zamiaceae family of plants. The plants thrive in dry hillsides, tropical forests, canyons, pine-oak forests and coastal dunes.

Dioon Description

The palm-like shrubs are dioecious. They have several leaves and cylindrical stems. The cycads plants are evergreen and perennial with stems partly buried in the ground. Composed of soft wood, the plants are mostly thick. The persistent bases of leaves often shed, leaving a bare bark.

The pinnate leaves are organized spirally with an intersperse of cataphylls. The leaflets lack midribs and articulation with those on the lower end often reducing to spines. Whereas the megasporophyll apices are upturned, flat and broad, and overlapping, the sporophylls aren't vertically aligned in the cones.

Some Dioon species can grow up to 16 meters in height and 40 centimeters in stem diameter. The plants often live up to a century. Although most species are limited in geographical range, Dioon tomasellii and Dioon edule are the most widespread.

Dioon Species

Some popular Dioon varieties include the following:

  • Dioon angustifolium
  • Dioon califanoi
  • Dioon edule
  • Dioon spinulosum
  • Dioon mejiae
  • Dioon purpusii
  • Dioon vagabond
  • Dioon tomasellii
  • Dioon sonorense
  • Dioon stevensoni
  • Dioon rzedowskii
  • Dioon argenteum
  • Dioon caputoi

A Potted Cycad Houseplant

A Potted Cycad Houseplant

Dioon Uses

Honduras female cones are harvested for their edible seeds. They're processed into tortillas and tamales. It's a perfect replacement for cornmeal. The plant can also be grown for ornamental use. According to the University of Florida Gardening Solutions, cycads aren't just easy to grow, but also stand out on landscapes.

Want to Grow Dioon at Home?

You can grow Dioon at home in your own garden to keep your environment looking and feeling green, atop beautifying it. Check out our gardening tools and supplies to get you started.