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ChrisA

A Cycad for South Central Texas

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ChrisA

Good morning Palmtalk Friends,

I've been tracking this gorgeous cycad in the King William area of San Antonio for the past few years and was curious how it would do following the complete defoliation that occurred in this past winter’s freeze.  Yesterday I got the opportunity to walk by for the first time in a month and was happy to see that it had completely regrown its fronds.  
 

I’m not sure why they are not more available in the trade in this area, they are drop-dead gorgeous and much more interesting looking, in my opinion, than the ubiquitous Cycad revoluta. 
 

Here is Dioon edule in all its glory:

CCB77156-457A-45FD-8F19-44C54CB57FB3.jpeg

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Turtlesteve

Complete opposite in South Carolina.  I have tried plants with 3-8” caudex sizes.  So far, I lost two of them in the teens.  Pretty sure a big one will die this year having only one tiny flush in 2 years.  They defoliate every single year, in wet conditions with heavy frost, even with good soil drainage.  They do not flush until mid summer so that means they look like crap more than half of the year.  Mature plants might do OK, but they will take many decades to grow to maturity in this climate, if they survive at all.  I think they are just unable to stay in leaf long enough to store any energy.

Pretty much all of the cold hardy Cycas kick their butt, especially C. panzihuaensis which had no burn whatsoever last winter while 3 Dioon edule next to them were 100% defoliated.  There is a coning male plant in Augusta GA under canopy that does not defoliate every year so I am hopeful they will one day grow out of it.

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Fusca
7 hours ago, ChrisA said:

 

I’m not sure why they are not more available in the trade in this area, they are drop-dead gorgeous and much more interesting looking, in my opinion, than the ubiquitous Cycad revoluta. 

I agree - they should be more available locally.  I believe Palm Buddha is the lone source here and they don't have many.

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amh
2 hours ago, Turtlesteve said:

Complete opposite in South Carolina.  I have tried plants with 3-8” caudex sizes.  So far, I lost two of them in the teens.  Pretty sure a big one will die this year having only one tiny flush in 2 years.  They defoliate every single year, in wet conditions with heavy frost, even with good soil drainage.  They do not flush until mid summer so that means they look like crap more than half of the year.  Mature plants might do OK, but they will take many decades to grow to maturity in this climate, if they survive at all.  I think they are just unable to stay in leaf long enough to store any energy.

Pretty much all of the cold hardy Cycas kick their butt, especially C. panzihuaensis which had no burn whatsoever last winter while 3 Dioon edule next to them were 100% defoliated.  There is a coning male plant in Augusta GA under canopy that does not defoliate every year so I am hopeful they will one day grow out of it.

I haven't lost any to cold, but from what I have read the hardiness is exaggerated.

2 hours ago, Fusca said:

I agree - they should be more available locally.  I believe Palm Buddha is the lone source here and they don't have many.

Price! A $50 sago is a lot bigger than a $50 Dioon. The Rainbow gardens off of Thousand Oaks Dr usually has Dioon edule in stock.

From low confidence anecdotal observations, I would say that Americans prefer the sagos, while Mexico prefers their Dioons. It could just be a culture thing, but the San Antonio area is a dead zone for anything interesting.

Edited by amh
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amh

I dont wish to hijack this thread, but are there enough of us in the San Antonio metro area to organize and promote palm and cycad diversity?

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Matt N- Dallas

Dioon edule is much more cold hardy than c. Revoluta in my experiences in TX over the last 19 years.  Dioon edule is much slower growing than cycas though.  In 2003 I found a huge d. edule male & female pair for sale for $50 each.  They were ball & burlap wrapped, two two people to lift & were infested w/ fire ants (I found out after bear hugging them to get them in a van.  Even among d. edule there is variability in cold hardiness.  I wish they were more readily available, but with the slow growth rate - I can see why.  

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Fusca
4 hours ago, amh said:

Price! A $50 sago is a lot bigger than a $50 Dioon. The Rainbow gardens off of Thousand Oaks Dr usually has Dioon edule in stock.

Really?  Nice.  I've not seen them but haven't looked for them either.  I'm closer to the one on Bandera but have noticed better variety of palms at Thousand Oaks.

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amh
53 minutes ago, Fusca said:

Really?  Nice.  I've not seen them but haven't looked for them either.  I'm closer to the one on Bandera but have noticed better variety of palms at Thousand Oaks.

They are usually adjacent to the sagos, so you have to pay attention. I usually see the butias and Sabal mexicana, but I haven't been there in about a year and a half.

I haven't paid much attention to Milberger's cycad and palm inventory.

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Meangreen94z

I think it also depends on what variety of Dioon Edule, some are hardier than others. I’ve heard some say “Rio Verde” is the hardiest and others say “Queretaro Blue”.  Dioon Angustfolium, formerly of the Edule family survived 7*F ? with no burn at Zilker Garden in Austin last February.file.php?id=75222

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richtrav

That is correct, Dioon edule is a variable species, the splitters divide it into several species. The one that grows about 100 miles south of the Rio Grande is the hardiest and never defoliates here in South Texas. I think this is what they refer to as edule var angustifolium though some of it may be plain edule (it all looks alike to me honestly). It grows in very tough sites in the Sierra Madre of Tamaulipas and Nuevo León and also near the coast of central Tamaulipas on rock, east of Soto la Marina. 

 

Dioon edule and Sabal Villa Mainero.JPG

Dioon Villa Mainero.JPG

Cycad mountain2.jpg

dioon edule soto3.JPG

Edited by richtrav
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richtrav

‘Rio Verde’ grows on the road from Cd. Valles to Rio Verde. Zamia vazquezii and some sort of Ceratozamia also grow in the vicinity. I have heard it’s the most tender edule type but haven’t tried it.

 

Rio verde Dioon .JPG

dioon rio verde6.JPG

ceratozamia valles-rio verd.JPG

zamia fischeri2.JPG

Edited by richtrav
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richtrav

‘Palma Sola’ grows on high dunes above the Gulf of Mexico at Palma Sola Veracruz. 

Palma Sola.jpg

Dioon Palma Sola.jpg

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yeye

Beautiful pics  in situ Richard

Thanks!

Do you know the species of the ceratozamia ?

 

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ChrisA

Some great information here, thanks all!  I did see one lone dioon edule at the Thousand Oaks location of Rainbow Gardens this past winter.  Still haven’t gotten to Palm Buddha to their selection.  I haven’t been very impressed by the nurseries I have been to, seems like there is a lot more variety and native S. Texas flora that is just not really available.  I’ve been trying to replace 4 Whooly Stemodia that perished in the freeze and have driven all the way to Austin in my search.  So far unsuccessful.  Millbergers has/had a decent variety of larger Sabals, Phoenix, and a large Bismarkia prior to February.

 

I'm loving those “in habitat” cycad photos from Mexico! Those mountains look amazing. 

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amh
3 hours ago, ChrisA said:

Some great information here, thanks all!  I did see one lone dioon edule at the Thousand Oaks location of Rainbow Gardens this past winter.  Still haven’t gotten to Palm Buddha to their selection.  I haven’t been very impressed by the nurseries I have been to, seems like there is a lot more variety and native S. Texas flora that is just not really available.  I’ve been trying to replace 4 Whooly Stemodia that perished in the freeze and have driven all the way to Austin in my search.  So far unsuccessful.  Millbergers has/had a decent variety of larger Sabals, Phoenix, and a large Bismarkia prior to February.

 

I'm loving those “in habitat” cycad photos from Mexico! Those mountains look amazing. 

The native plant societies usually have annual sales that include interesting and hard to find specimens, but yes the local nurseries are a disappointment. Only about 2% of my plants were bought locally and the rest I have purchased from out of state or started by seed.

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amh

Magnificent pictures Richard.

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amh

Out of curiosity, does anyone know the variety that is sold through rarepalmseeds?

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richtrav
8 hours ago, yeye said:

Beautiful pics  in situ Richard

Thanks!

Do you know the species of the ceratozamia ?

 

No sorry I don’t, a lot of them down there that form variable complexes. If I had to guess I’d say it’s closer to latifolia than anything else.

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amh

I've recently purchased seed for both Dioon spinulosum and Dioon edule 'Palma Sola'  from an etsy shop. There were extra seeds and all  passed the sink test.

I am not affiliated with the seller and am posting the link for informative reasons.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BanikBotanicals?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=858720757

 

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