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Selenipedium isabelianum & Selenipedium palmifolium.jpg
Selenipedium palmifolium, Illustration.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Tribe: Selenipedieae
Subtribe: Selenipediinae
Genus: Selenipedium

See text.

Selenipedium is a genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae) (Subfamily Cypripedioideae). The genus has been given its own tribe, Selenipedieae, and subtribe, Selenipediinae.[1][2] It is abbreviated Sel in trade journals.

The name of the genus is derived from the Greek selen, which means "moon", and pedium, which means "slipper" (referring to the pouch).

The seed capsules of these Central and South American lady's slipper orchids were formerly used as vanilla substitutes, but selenipediums are now rarely cultivated. Partly this is because of the difficulty of doing so, but is probably also due to the relatively small size of the Selenipedium's flower. The wild flower's Amazonian habitat is also under threat, so extinction is a risk for all species of Selenipedium.

Accepted species include:[3]

Allied genera include Paphiopedilum, Mexipedium, Cypripedium and Phragmipedium - a genus containing several species formerly known as Selenipedium, such as Selenipedium caricinum (now Phragmipedium caricinum), and Selenipedium laevigatum (now Paphiopedilum philippinense).


  1. ^ Atwood, John T. (1984). "The relationships of the slipper orchids (subfamily Cypripedioideae, Orchidaceae)". Selbyana. 7 (2/4): 129–247. JSTOR 41760369.
  2. ^ Pridgeon, A.M.; Cribb, P.J.; Chase, M.W. & F. N. Rasmussen (1999): Genera Orchidacearum Vol.1, Oxford U. Press. ISBN 0-19-850513-2
  3. ^ "Selenipedium Rchb.f." Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. Retrieved 2018-10-31.

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