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Ancient Garden

Dioon edule 'Rio Verde' Cycad

​Dioon edule 'Rio Verde' Cycad

  • Common name: Dioon edule ‘Rio Verde’, Chestnut dioon
  • Scientific name: Dioon edule ‘Rio Verde’
  • Family name: Zamiaceae
  • Origin: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
  • Height: 6-9 ft
  • Width: 8 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: 8b-11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Tolerates many soil types, as long as it has good drainage. Prefers mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil (pH 6.1-7.8)
  • Moisture: Moderate water needs, water regularly.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: No pests or diseases are of particular concern.
  • Growing conditions: Does best in a warm, humid area. Give it plenty of sunlight – not only is it good for the plant, but it will bring out bluer shades in the leaves. It is relatively cold tolerant compared to other cycads, tolerating temperatures down to 15°F, but needs to be watered less during cold periods. It can be grown in the ground or in a large container.
  • Characteristics: Trunk is rough and scaly in texture. Young leaves are soft and light grayish-green. Mature leaves are long, pinnate and feather-like, reaching up to 4 ft in length, and have many pairs of leaflets. Leaflets are lanceolate and either light green or silvery-blue depending on sun exposure. This plant is dioecious, having separate male and female plants, which produce different cones. The cones on this plant are light tan and spiny.
  • Propagation: By seeds.
  • Wildlife: Leaves provide shade and shelter for small animals such as birds and lizards.
  • Facts: This plant grows in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the state of San Luis Potosi in Mexico, found in tropical deciduous thorn forests and oak woodlands at elevations over 1000 ft.
  • Designer considerations: Makes a good tropical specimen planting, and pairs well with palm trees or other tropical trees and shrubs. Since it can be planted in a container, it makes a good porch plant as long as its in an area with plenty of sunlight.