Plant of the Day: Nepenthes Red Leopard

Nepenthes 'Red Leopard' a.k.a. Nepenthes ventricosa-squat x maxima

Nepenthes Red Leopard a.k.a. Nepenthes ventricosa-squat x maxima

Nepenthes Red Leopard, a.k.a. Nepenthes ventricosa-squat x maxima, is a fast-growing hybrid developed by Geoff and Andrea Mansell. From the International Nepenthes Grex registry:

N. Red Leopard (ventricosa-squat x maxima)
Female parent: N. ventricosa squat
Male parent: N. maxima
Breeder: Geoff & Andrea Mansell, Exotica Plants
Registrant: Geoff & Andrea Mansell, Exotica Plants
Pollination date: 1989-10-1
Registration date: 2008-7-8
Status: Registered
Notes: The female parent is a squat variety of N. ventricosa.

Intermediate pitcher, Nepenthes 'Red Leopard'

Intermediate pitcher, Nepenthes Red Leopard

Nepenthes maxima originates from New Guinea, Sulawesi, and the Maluku Islands, and has been recorded at altitudes between 400m and 2600m.

Nepenthes ventricosa originates from the islands of Luzon, Panay, and Sibuyan in the Philippines and has been recorded at altitudes between 1000m and 2000m.

Nepenthes 'Red Leopard'

Nepenthes Red Leopard lower pitchers.

The leaves of N. Red Leopard mostly resemble those of N. ventricosa. Exposure to very bright sunlight will turn the leaves yellowish.  (The yellowish cast in these photos is partly caused by late afternoon photography.)

Lower pitchers have bright-red-to-burgundy splotches, intermediate pitchers have fainter markings, and upper pitchers are mostly green with faint spots.

The vine grows between 2m and 3m a year. Cuttings may be taken in spring, summer and autumn, and are easy to propagate.  Basal shoots and colourful pitchers  start to appear in the plant’s second year.

Nepenthes 'Red Leopard'

Nepenthes Red Leopard, about 2 years old.

N. Red Leopard can be grown outdoors in the Sydney region, as long as it is protected from frost and hail. The plants pictured here are grown under white shadecloth with 50% coverage, which provides them with bright filtered light. Half-shade (e.g. under a pergola) or dappled light (under a tree) are also acceptable.

A wingless Nepenthes 'Red Leopard' pitcher

A developing Nepenthes Red Leopard pitcher

N. Red Leopard will tolerate tray watering if care is taken to prevent waterlogging of the roots. Use a very open medium (a coco-peat / coco-chip / perlite mix is a good choice) in a standard round pot 125mm or larger, and keep the rootball above the halfway mark of the pot. A tray depth of 30mm is acceptable.

Many growers use smaller hanging pots and water/mist more frequently.

Nepenthes 'Red Leopard' a.k.a. Nepenthes ventricosa-squat x maxima

Nepenthes Red Leopard a.k.a. Nepenthes ventricosa-squat x maxima

Note: Photographs are reproduced from the original site with the permission of the author.

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