The new municipality of Sel was created on 1 January 1908 when it was separated from Vågå municipality. The former municipality of Heidal was merged into Sel municipality on 1 January 1965.
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Sel farm (Old Norse: Sil), since the first church was built there. The name is identical with the word sil which means "slowly running and quiet part of a river" (here meaning the Gudbrandsdalslågen).
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 18 May 1985. The arms show a gold-colored girl playing a trumpet on a blue background. The image is based on the local Prillar-Gurilegend. In 1612, a Scottish army marched through the area on its way to Sweden. They were stopped by the local farmers at the Battle of Kringen. The legend tells that the farmers were warned for the Scots by a local girl with a trumpet.
Selenipedium is a genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae) (Subfamily Cypripedioideae). The genus has been given its own tribe, Selenipedieae, and subtribe, Selenipediinae. 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.
There are only six true selenipedium species known ():
Selenipedium aequinoctiale (The Equatorial occurring Selenipidum) is a terrestrial orchid found in Ecuador.
Selenipedium isabelianum (Found in Brazil)
Selenipedium palmifolium A dry land flower, its habitat is endangered by deforestation of the Amazon basin for agriculture.