- Category: Plants
HabitatLowland tropical evergreen rain forest on limestone hills and cliffs, at elevations of 20 - 300 m (66 - 980 ft). Rainfall averages more than 2000 mm (79 in) annually, falling mainly in summer. Summers are hot and humid with frequent rains, and winters, about November - March, warm and generally dry.
DistributionMexico, Oaxaca, and, formerly, Veracruz states, from near Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, in the north, to Lago Catemaco, Veracruz, to the east, extending to south of San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, Oaxaca.
Dioon spinulosum is found on limestone hills in rain forest at low elevations. The plants commonly grow out of cracks and pockets in solid rock. Seeds germinate in small fissures in the cliffs, and growth can be painfully slow until the roots find their way to a pocket of soil.
In cultivation, Dioon spinulosum is one of the most trouble free cycads. It will not only withstand full sun but some frost exposure as well. When planted in sunny locations, the growth rate seems to be more rapid than if grown in a shady position. Seedlings grow rapidly and in the span of a few years can become sizeable plants. Plants do better if placed in a somewhat shady location with dampness at the roots at all times. The growth rate is relatively rapid if sufficient fertilizer and water are provided throughout the growing season, generally March - September. Soil should be loose and damp, containing a good quantity of humus. As with most cycads, good drainage is essential. Dioon spinulosum has few pest problems. Occasionally, infestations of mealybugs or scale insects occur but generally only when the plant is in a stressed condition.