It may not be quite as crazy as a corpse flower, but it's still pretty cool! Both of our Dioon spinulosum are coning at the same time. In itself, coning on these isn’t rare and should happen at least once a year to every few years. However, the male and female plants are coning at the same time which means that with any luck, we’ll be able to pollinate the female.
Dioon spinulosum, or “Giant cycads” are native to Oaxaca, Mexico and grow to an eventual height of 40 feet or so. In the wild, they’re pollinated by beetles (like our Titan arum, Carrie), except in this case it’s usually a specific species of weevil. Due to the lack of pollinators here in the dome, we've collected the pollen from the male cone and will hopefully pollinate the female plant when ready.
Cycads have been around for almost 300 million years, but have some pretty surprising features like coralloid roots. These are special roots similar to the root nodules found in legumes, but instead of partnering with Rhizobium and friends, they use cyanobacteria, aka blue-green algae.
Come check them out in the conservatory! #gdmbg#gdmbgblooms#cycad#dioon#gardening