The Brassolaeliocattleya (reclassified as Rhyncholaeliocattleya) Kat Red Panda is a sympodial epiphyte orchid hybrid. It was registered in 2003 and created by Ho Cheng Ing as a cross between Cattleya Moscombe and Rhyncholaeliocattleya Golden Slippers. The green coloration of this orchid is its best feature, since there aren’t many green colored orchid flowers that are as showy as this hybrid. The pictures in this article are of the ‘Dragon Cat’ variety.
Blooms are showy and quite big, measuring about 10 cm in diameter. This orchid produces what orchid enthusiast call floofy flowers, which means they might have a pretty unorganized shape and can obtain a frilly aspect.
The sepals are pretty compact and well defined, elongated and rather narrow. The petals and lip however are broad and frilly, sometimes looking slightly deformed. This look can be quite gracious for some orchid lovers and quite disorganized for others, but they do seem majestic in their own way. The petals and lip can have splashes of dark purple on a pale green background.
The blooms are mildly fragrant and have a light floral scent which is more noticeable in the morning hours and completely gone in the evening and night. The orchid can produce 1 to 3 flowers per inflorescence that sprout from a sheath at the top of a maturing cane.
This orchid usually blooms once a year in the warm months and each flower can last up to 4 weeks, or a bit more, depending on environment. After the blooms fall the spike can be cut close to the base, as it will not rebloom again.
The pseudobulbs, also known as canes, are about 10-15 cm in height and about 1-2 cm in width, with an elongated shape. The normal color for this orchid is light green. The leaves are long and rather slender, measuring about 10 cm in length and about 2-3 cm in width. This Cattleya type orchid is a unifoliate orchid, meaning it only produces one leaf on top of each cane.
The roots are thin and healthy roots are white, but as they age they can turn green when wet. When in active growth they have bright green tips. New growths usually appear at the base of the cane that just finished flowering and take about 6-7 months to mature. This orchid usually produces a sheath from which the spike emerges. The sheath might be green, or brown and dry when the buds start to emrge.
Propagation of this orchid can be done through division, each division should have at least 3 fully grown pseudobulbs for a fast growth further on.
Soft spots: rotting of the new growth if water gets trapped within the sheaths.
Overall the Blc. Kat Red Panda is an easy orchid to grow, as long as bright light is provided.
Rlc. Kat Red Panda ‘Dragon Cat’ Basic care:
Light: Bright to very bright
Humidity: Tolerant to low humidity, over 40% ideal
Water: Let the media dry between waterings
Growth cycle: not deciduous, does not require a winter rest, does not regularly shed leaves, can bloom all year round