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Selenipedium abbreviated as Sel is a genus of orchids belonging to orchid family.

Image of Selenipedium plant at Google

Selenipedium is a genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae. This genus has been given its own tribe, Selenipedieae, and subtribe, Selenipediinae. This genus is abbreviated Sel in trade journals.

The name is derived from the Greek word Selen that means moon and pedium that means slipper. This refers to the pouch. Their seed capsules were used as vanilla substitutes.

There are only six true selenipedium species known :
– Selenipedium aequinoctiale (The Equatorial occurring Selenipidum) is a terrestrial orchid found in Ecuador.
– Selenipedium chica.
– Selenipedium isabelianum (Found in Brazil).
– Selenipedium palmifolium a dry land flower.
– Selenipedium steyermarkii (Brazil, Venezuela).
– Selenipedium vanillocarpum is a Brazilian species adapted to a mountain habitat.

Growing/Caring Conditions for Selenipedium
– Select a location which receives natural sunlight.
– Care should be taken that the location is not too hot.
– Indirect light is preferred in summer.
– Plant the orchid in the location.
– Water the orchid well.
– Care should be taken, not to overwater the orchid.
– Keep the orchid moist.
– Plant blooms in the fall to spring.
– Repotting annually is better for some orchids.
– Plant the orchid in a potting mix of mulch for tropical plants.
– Fertilize the orchid with plant food that is specific for orchids.
– Control the way roots get their oxygen because it is an important factor when they grow.
– This plant needs rich and fertile soil.
– This plant needs well draining soil.
– Add tree fern fibers (for small plants), several pieces of coarse fir bark, or sphagnum moss for draining.
– Dead growth and branches should be removed.

The following fungal and bacterial infections are known to attack the plant.
– Leaf spot is caused by Colletotrichum and Gleosporium.
– Leaf blight – caused by Pythium.
– Collar blocth – caused by Penicilium thomii.
– Collar rot – caused by Sclerotium.
– Orchid wilt – caused by Sclerotium rolfsli.

To avoid the above fungicides like Captan, Dithane, Agrosan and Ceresan are very effective.
– More than 32 diseases are known to occur on orchids with the most common are Cymbidium mosaic virus.
– All infected plants should be isolated to prevent spreading of the disease for avoiding.
– The most commonly reported insects pests on orchids are thrips, aphids, spidermite, soft scale, mealy bugs, orchid weevil, snail and slugs.
– They feed on tender young shoot, suck the sap and damage the young bud and shoot and also act as the carrier of different diseases.
– These can be controlled by effective insecticides like Parathion, Malathion, BHC, Aldrin, Dieldrin, etc. Metaldehyde has proved to be very effective in killing slugs and snails.

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