Selenipedium chica and Selenipedium palmifolium plate
Selenipedium chica and Selenipedium palmifolium from
Xenia Orchidacea

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Tribe: Selenipedieae
SubTribe: Selenipediinae
Genus: Selenipedium
Rchb.f. 1854
Type Species
Selenipedium chica

Selenipedium is a genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae) (Subfamily Cypripedioideae). The genus has been given its own tribe, Selenipedieae, and subtribe, Selenipediinae.


These orchids are found in Costa Rica, South Colombia, Ecuador, and the Amazon river basin in Brazil.


The seed capsules of these orchids especially Selenipedium chica 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.

Stems can reach up to 3 meters. The column has two fertiles anthers, one in each side and stamen located in the center that covers the high part with the column.The wild flower's Amazonian habitat is also under threat, so extinction is a risk for all species of Selenipedium.


Plants are very difficult to cultivate. They can be grown in warm temperatures and diffused bright light. Plants are cultivated in sand and tree fern fibers. Water with rainwater.


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

Species Edit

The type species is Selenipedium chica


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  • Leroy-Terquem, Gerald and Jean Parisot. Orchids: Care and Cultivation. London: Cassel Publishers Ltd., 1991.
  • Schoser, Gustav. Orchid Growing Basics. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1993.
  • White, Judy. Taylor’s Guide to Orchids. Frances Tenenbaum, Series Editor. New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 1996.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids by Alec Pridgeon. Published by the Timber Press.

External LinksEdit

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