, was originally discovered in 1981, in the Sierra Madre mountains of northwestern Chiapas, Mexico. Dioon merolae
is a medium-sized plant well suited to warm temperate and subtropical climates. Its leaves, fuzzy when immature, are dark green and stiff when mature.
The Dioon merolae
from Chiapas is the original type specimen discovered of this species.Dioon merolae
is a frost-tolerant, heat-tolerant and sun-tolerant species. Leaflets tend to overlap on the leaf, creating a “Venetian blind” look (called "imbricate leaflets" by botanists), which is an attractive feature of this plant.
Locally known as "espadaña" (Spanish for bullrush or cattail) Dioon merolae is named for Aldo Merola, professor of Botany and Director of Orto Botanico de Napoli, "in recognition of his remarkable contribution to knowledge and conservation of cycads."