Dioon spinulosum, Giant Dioon, Gum Palm. Male cones
Male cones

Dioon spinulosum

Giant Dioon, Gum Palm
Family: Zamiaceae
Origin: Mexico
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterThorny or spiny

In full sun, Giant Dioon (Dioon spinulosum) grows into a large plant up to 20 ft tall, while in semi-shade the plants form a nice small shrubs up to 10 ft tall. The trunk of this tree is interesting, being upright and covered with small spines. In the right conditions, it can be a real show stopper.

Giant Dioon needs moderate water, but can tolerate short dry spells as they are adapted to live in semi-arid environments. While it's native to Mexico, it can grow well in other parts of the world with a mild climate. In warmer regions it will be able to tolerate temperatures in the 30s F for a short time.

For those who have cold winters, you can still enjoy a Giant Dioon by planting it in a large pot and placing it in a sheltered area, such as a south-facing wall. In colder climates, use a good-quality compost to create an insulated environment for the plant. Fertilize regularly with a balanced fertilizer and keep an eye out for any signs of fungal diseases or pests. Make sure the soil doesn't become too wet in winter as it can be hard to dry out and the roots can rot.

With the right care and plenty of sun, your Giant Dioon will be a great addition to your garden, adding structure and a unique look.

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