Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 12:41 EDT

The Giant Dioon, Dioon spinulosum

The Giant dioon (Dioon spinulosum) is a cycad plant species. The species belongs to the Zamiaceae family and may also be referred to as the Gum palm. The Giant dioon is native to Oaxaca, Veracruz and Yucatan in Mexico and can be found between 300 and 1500 feet above sea level.

This plant is a fast-growing species. The Giant dioon is a common, easily grown plant. The species prefers well-drained soil with regular water; however the plant is highly adaptable and tolerant. Giant dioon plants may grow with partial sun/shade or full sun.

The Giant dioon is known to be one of the tallest plants in this genus. The species can be seen growing up to 40 feet tall. The plant’s leaves grow between 5 and 7 feet in length and each leaf contains between 120-240 small, flat leaflets. These individual leaflets branch out slowly thinning to a sharp point and each one contains several small thorns.

The Giant dioon has been around since before dinosaurs roamed the earth. Over 200 million years the species has changed very little. The wild roaming plant currently faces real threats. Severe habitat destruction and over-collection are the biggest concerns and the Giant dioon is unfortunately officially listed as “endangered”.

Image Caption: The Giant Dioon, (Dioon spinulosum). Credit: Jkrup4/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Giant Dioon Dioon spinulosum