Endemic to Mexico this species is native to deciduous pine and oak forests in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains. In the garden these plants are usually small and slow growing, but widely adaptable to a range of soils, temperatures, watering, and other conditions. Older specimens are dramatically better looking than small plants. Some edule varieties can be qualified by morphological characteristics such as var. edule, rio verde, palma sola, queretero, jacala, and angustifolium.