Virgin Palm

Dioon edule

Palma de la Virgen, Mexican Cycad, Chamal

About This Plant

Partial shade. Evergreen, with stiff cycad fronds which grow quite large, mostly without a palm-like trunk. Very frost hardy; in recent winters, dioon outperformed sago palm, with no leaf damage at 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Like sago, dioon is not a true palm but a cycad, an ancient plant. It tolerates limestone soils and tough conditions, but requires moisture to establish; drought-hardy thereafter. All parts are poisonous if ingested. Sharp edges require careful handling.

Origins: Central, Eastern and Northern Mexico, to Nuevo Leon


Plan on supplemental water to establish; drought hardy thereafter. Always limit pruning of the fronds.

An ancient plant, and obviously, a hardy specimen.

Min. Height: 2'

Max Height: 6 feet'

Min. Width: 4'

Max Width: 12 feet'

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