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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Orchidaceae
Subfamilia: Cypripedioideae
Genus: Selenipedium
Overview of species (9)

S. aequinoctiale – S. buenaventurae – S. chica – S. dodsonii – S. isabelianum – S. olgae – S. palmifolium – S. steyermarkii – S. vanillocarpum


Selenipedium Rchb.f. , Xenia Orchid. 1: 8. (1854)

Type species: Selenipedium chica Rchb.f., Xenia Orchid. 1: 3 (1854)


Selenipedilum Pfitzer, in H.G.A.Engler & K.A.E.Prantl (eds.), Nat. Pflanzenfam. 2(6): 84 (1888)

Native distribution areas:
Selenipedium - Distribution

Southern America
Central America
Northern South America
French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela.
Western South America
Colombia, Ecuador.
Brazil West-Central, Brazil Northeast, Brazil North.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.W. & Rasmussen, F.N. (eds.) 1999. Genera Orchidacearum Volume 1: General Introduction, Apostasioideae, Cypripedioideae; page 132 ff., Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-198505-13-2
Reichenbach, H.G. (1854) Xenia Orchidacea: Beitraege zur Kenntniss der Orchideen 1: 8.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Selenipedium in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 August 8. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Selenipedium in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 August 8. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Selenipedium. Published online. Accessed: 8 August 2019.
The Plant List 2013. Selenipedium in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 August 8.
Tropicos.org 2019. Selenipedium. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 August 8.

Vernacular names

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]

Selenipedium aequinoctiale Garay — Ecuador
Selenipedium buenaventurae (Szlach. & Kolan.) P.J.Cribb
Selenipedium chica Rchb.f.
Selenipedium dodsonii P.J.Cribb
Selenipedium isabelianum Barb.Rodr. — Brazil
Selenipedium olgae Szlach. & Kolan.
Selenipedium palmifolium (Lindl.) Rchb.f. & Warsz.
Selenipedium steyermarkii Foldats — Brazil, Venezuela
Selenipedium vanillocarpum Barb.Rodr. — Brazil

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).


Atwood, John T. (1984). "The relationships of the slipper orchids (subfamily Cypripedioideae, Orchidaceae)". Selbyana. 7 (2/4): 129–247. JSTOR 41760369.
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
"Selenipedium Rchb.f." Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. Retrieved 2018-10-31.

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