Belfast Botanic Gardens Cycad Collection
This is one of a series of short articles about cycads in the Belfast Botanic Gardens, compiled by members of the Friends Group.
Giant Dioon or Gum palm
This is one of the largest American cycads. It grows in the wild on limestone cliffs and rocky hillsides in tropical Mexico and is extensively cultivated as an ornamental. It is said to be fast-growing and can reach a height of 12m with a leaf length of 2m. It can be grown from seed which is supposed to be very easy to germinate (unlike many other cycads). It can also be propagated from the 'pups' which develop around the base of the plant. The leaves have sharp spines along the margins as well as distinctive parallel veining.
Dioon spinulosum in the Tropical Ravine
Young expanding fronds
Detail of leaf spines