Header Graphic
Dioon articles


Dioon califanoi

The Dioon califanoi is one of the most treasured Dioons.  The color when grown in full sun is gray-green, with a slight blue hue.  It is quite ornamental with its keel leaves (shaped like the bottom of a boat).  In your garden it will provide dramatic contrast against your Encephalartos—the leaflets, leaves and caudex are completely different, and it has an enticing color that you will learn to like.  The tips of the leaves are pointy-sharp (termed pungent), similar to the Encephalartos lehmannii.  The distinctive difference that most folks see is the precise, nearly perfect stacking of the stiff leaflets, like a venetian blind. Your visitors will remark how different this cycad is from the others (a conversation starter) and you will inform them that most of the Encephalartos are from South Africa but the Dioon califanoi is from Oaxaca (pronounced Oh-wahkah), Mexico.    


Dioon califanoi, shown in-ground, 8” caudex width.  $129./inch discounted to $103.20/inch.

Provenance:  Acquired 14 each 1 gal from Eric Anderson, Seedco, SEP2013, then planted in the Greenhouse Bank MAR2015.  They have been growing in the ground from 2015 until JUN2023.  About 13 years old.

This particular cycad was SOLD.  There is 1 each 15 gal 7” califanoi available that is identical to this cycad, plus 3 each 15 gal and 11 each 5 gal are available.


Dioon merolae

Dioon merolae, 20 gal, (f) 12” caudex width, 62” tall (tallest merolae that Indian Rock has ever had).

$79./inch discounted to $63.20/inch.  This is considered a large, mature cycad. 

This caudex has significant height, a testament that this cycad is 25 years old, an “instant landscape” cycad that will fit well within other established plants.  The leaflets are tightly and uniformly stacked.  Absolutely the nicest Dioon merolae we have ever had.  It was in the ground along with other cycads that a customer wanted but he rejected this one for it was a stressed-out female with huge cone.  I removed the cone, cut off all the tired, tattered leaves, placed it in a 20-gallon container of Graeme Fairlie’s soil and within a month a complete new flush was formed.  A blemish-free, magnificent cycad! 

Provenance:  Acquired from Eric Anderson, Seedco, MAR2000 in large bare root form, then placed into a 5-gal container at Indian Rock.  Planted in the Dioon Patch MAR2007 in full Escondido sun until 10JUN2023.  About 25 years old.

This cycad was SOLD!  There are 16 smaller Dioon merolae of 4”-6” size discounted to $39.50/inch.





Dioon 'Rio Balsas'

Dioon ‘Rio Balsas’, 50 gal, 14” caudex width, about 7 feet tall.  $89./inch discounted to $71.20/inch.

This is a much different Dioon than we have had, it is certainly rare.  This Dioon ‘Rio Balsas’ has not been officially described by botanists.  It was found near the Balsas river in Mexico, thought to be a Dioon stevensonii but that isn’t even close.  This cycad was never brownish pink.  This cycad is very tall, in fact I’ve suggested to my 4 customers who obtained an offset that this cycad is different, put it as a backdrop (put it to the back) of your plants for a cathedral-like setting.  Another point: this cycad’s caudex is as hard as an oak tree.  It is impossible to cleave an offset from the parent caudex with a pry bar like I do with the horridus—I had to use a reciprocating saw with hardened blade.

Provenance:  Acquired 2 each 2 gal from Bill McDaniels, Cycad Ranch, MAR2003, planted and grown in full Escondido sun in the Dioon Hill.  This parent ‘Rio Balsas’ with 5 offsets was dug, the offsets removed and the parent with 6” pup placed into a 50 gal Lerio container JUL2023.  About 22 years old.  This parent ‘Rio Balsas’ has been SOLD.


Dioon ‘Rio Balsas’, 15 gal, 7” caudex width with side pup, 5’ tall.  Details as above.

This is the last one we have, an extraordinary Dioon, twice as tall as the Dioon edule.

Note how it has thrived!  New flush and a side pup. This Dioon does not look like the Dioons we have in our inventory, tall with a strong flush. 

Photo below shows older leaves that were somewhat mangled during the difficult offset removal process.  The new flush is perfectly centered and will probably be 6’ or taller, and then the older leaves will be cut.


Dioon 'Rio Verde'

Dioon ‘Rio Verde’, 20 gal, (f) 9.5” caudex width, 46” tall.  $69./inch discounted to $55.20/inch. 

This is considered a large, mature cycad.  An “instant landscape” cycad that will fit well within other established plants.  After this cycad was dug, I cut off all the older leaves, placed it in a 20-gallon container of Graeme Fairlie’s soil and within a month a complete new flush was formed.  Shown below, this new flush is temporarily bronze color.  A magnificent cycad!

Provenance:  Acquired from Eric Anderson, Seedco, MAR2000, then planted in the 150 Patch MAR2007.  This has been growing in the ground from 2007 until 10JUN2023.  About 25 years old.

This 20 gal ‘Rio Verde’ is available along with 4 each mature, large 15 gal.  There are 10 each smaller Dioon merolae of 3”-6” size discounted to $34.50/inch.