Dioon mejiae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Dioon mejiae Standl. & L.O.Williams
Common Name(s):
Spanish Palma Teosinte
Dioon edule Lindl. var. latipinnium Dyer

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Haynes, J.
Reviewer(s): Donaldson, J.S. & Bösenberg, J.D.
Recent surveys in Honduras indicate that there are many large and healthy subpopulations with little evidence of decline despite use by local people.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the states of Colon, Olancho and Yoro of Honduras.
Countries occurrence:
Honduras (Honduras (mainland))
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):120
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The populations of Dioon mejiae have been conservatively estimated to total more than 600,000 wild plants. This includes two “super-populations”, each containing more than 100,000 plants.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:600000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is typically an understorey component of semi-deciduous tropical rain forest and is found on steep slopes and in canyons, but also grows on flat terrain. Some populations thrive in sandy soil or sandy to clayey alluvial deposits, while others grow in loamy, limestone-derived soils; in soils weathered from metamorphics (schists, gneisses); etc.
Generation Length (years):500

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In Honduras, Dioon mejiae (called teucinte by the local inhabitants) seeds are ground and eaten.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species' biggest threat comes from habitat destruction as a result of the conversion of habitat to farmland and to a lesser extent the effects of logging and road-building on the habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of the CITES Appendices. This species has important cultural value and is hence protected by local inhabitants.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Donaldson, J.S. 2006. Notes.

Donaldson, J.S. (ed.). 2003. Cycads. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Haynes, J. 2005. The amazing tree Dioons of Honduras. Available at:

Haynes, J.L. and Bonta, M.A. 2007. An emended description of Dioon mejiae Standl. & L.O. Williams (Zamiaceae). The New York Botanical Garden Press, New York.

Hill, K.D. and Stevenson, D.W. 1998-2006. The Cycad Pages. Available at:

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Jones, D.L. 1993. Cycads of the World. Reed, New Holland, Frenchs Forest, N.S.W., Australia.

Citation: Haynes, J. 2010. Dioon mejiae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T42184A10653949. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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