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Swiss Orchid Foundation
at the Herbarium Jany Renz

Dr. Christoph Noelpp
St. Jakobs-Strasse 30
4002 Basel

© 2015 Swiss Orchid Foundation

Botanical Institute
University of Basel

Genus descriptions



Selenipedium aequinoctiale Garay
© P. J. Cribb

This plant in BibliOrchidea
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Tribe: Cypripedieae
Subtribe: Selenipediinae
Description: Selenipedium is a tall to huge, terrestrial and hairy herb that sprouts from a short to elongate rhizome with fibrous roots. The stem is erect, often branched with opposite leave arrangement. The leaves are elliptic-lanceolate. The flowers are small in proportion to the size of the plant, resupinate, concoloured or bicoloured. The dorsal sepal is erect or slightly hooded over the lip. The lateral sepals form a synsepal. The strait petals spread freely; the lip is pouched or slipper-shaped, incurved on the front margin. The column is round with two anthers; the staminode is somewhat formed as a shield and sessile, with two pollinia. The stigma is shortly stalked, trisulcate and wider than the staminode. The ovary is triloculate.
Type: Selenipedium chica Rchb.f.
Distribution: Costa Rica and Trinidad to Columbia and Brazil.
Species: 5
Etymology: Gr.: selene = moon and goddess of the moon, gr.: pedilon = shoe
Culture: Little is known of the cultural requirements of selenipediums, as they are scarcely cultivated. They should be given the same mix as paphiopedilums and phragmipediums and have similar needs regarding water and light. The roots should not be allowed to dry out.
Notes: The ovaries of Selenipedium and Phragmipedium are trilocular, the ovaries of Paphiopedilum and Cypripedium unilocular.

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