Awards of the American Iris Society Awards (AIS) for seedling, Registered and Introduced Iris

Each year the judges of the AIS vote the offical ballot and awards are made to many different classifications of irises.  Other awards are given for irises winning the most most in the gardens on the tours of the annual AIS convention.  This article gives a brief summary of each of the awards given by the AIS.

Definition: Seedlings - a new cultivar produced by crossing two irises that is grown for evaluation.

Honorable Mention (HM)    First award to introduced irises based on garden performance. Eligible irises become eligible for this award the second year after its year of introduction.     A detailed listing of Louisiana iris who won the HM.(put link here to list)

Walther Cup  Given to the iris which received the most votes for Honorable Mention.

Award of Merit (AM)     Second award for registered and introduced irises. Eligibility begins the second year after the iris has been awarded the HM award. Prior to 1985, introduced Louisiana iris where elegible for only the HM and the Debaillon Award. Starting in 1985, Louisiana iris were elegible for the HM, Award of Merit and the Debaillion MEDAL. A detailed listing of Award of Merit Louisiana iris (put link here to list)

Special Medal Awards

The Caparne-Welch Medal is restricted to Miniature Dwarf Bearded Irises  

The Cook-Douglas Medal is restricted to Standard Dwarf Bearded Irises  

The Hans and Jacob Sass Medal is restricted to Intermediate Bearded Irises  

The Knowlton Medal is restricted to Border Bearded Irises  

The Williamson-White Medal is restricted to Miniature Tall Bearded Irises  

The Clarence G. White Medal is restricted to irises of one-half or more aril content that clearly exhibit at leasr three readily recognizable aril flower characteristics as defined and approved by the Aril Society International.  

The William Mohr Medal is restricted to irises of one-quarter or more aril content that do not meet the requirements for the C.G. WHite Medal.  

The John C. Wister Memorial Medal is restricted to Tall Bearded Irises.  

The Payne Medal is restricted to Japanese Irises  

The Mary Swords DeBaillon Medal is restricted to Louisiana Irises.  To see a list of winners click here: 

The Sydney B. Mitchell Medal is restricted to Pacific Coast Native Irises.  

The Morgan-Wood Medal is restricted to Siberian Irises.  

The Eric Nies Medal is restricted to Spuria Irises.  

The Founders of SIGNA Medal is restricted to species Irises  

The Randolph-Perry Medal is restricted to interspecies irises.

To become eligible for any of these special medal awards, the iris must have received the Award of Merit within its class.  Eligibilty begins the second year after the variety has received the AM and continues for three years.  

Dykes Memorial Award Fourth award, now given annually to one iris which has received a medal. The American Dykes Medal has been awarded since 1927. The Louisiana iris winners of the Mary Swords Debaillon Medal are now eligible for the Dykes but so far mostly Tall Bearded have won this award.

Mary Swords DeBallion MEDAL  Up until 1985, the highest award exclusively for Louisiana iris was the Mary Swords DeBallion AWARD. After 1985, the AWARD was discontinued and replaced with the AWARD OF MERIT (AM). The highest award exclusively for Louisiana iris is now the Mary Swords DeBallion MEDAL.

    Three Louisiana iris, 'Ann Chowning', 'Clara Goula' and 'Easter Tide' have won both the Debaillon Award and Debaillon Medal. After the Debaillon Award was replaced by the Debaillon Medal, previous Award winners were eligible to win the Medal.

    A detailed listing of DeBallion winners (put in link to the list)

Awards for Iris Seedlings

The recipients of these Awards are selected annually by American Iris Society Judges who vote the official AIS ballot or by AIS judges voting for seedlings in an iris show.

Exhibition Certificate (EC)     Awarded to seedlings (irises not introduced to commerce) at iris shows

High Commendation Award (HC)     Awarded to seedlings based on garden performance

Popular Awards

President's Cup and Franklin Cook Cup These are awarded at the annual national convention of the American Iris Society. The President's cup is awarded to the most popular iris inside the host region, and the Franklin Cook Cup to the most popular iris outside the host region. Everyone who attends the convention is elegible to vote for these awards.

    In 1951, the AIS convention was held in Shreveport, Louisiana and the Louisiana Iris, 'Cherry Bounce' won the President's Cup. 'Cherry Bounce' went on to win the 1951 Debaillon Award with 36 votes, an unusually high number of votes for the time.

Other Popular Awards

The Charles Arny Jr. Award of the Society of Louisiana Irises is another example of a popular award. All members of the SLI are elegible to vote in the SLI Popularity Poll. The most popular iris in the Popularity Poll recieves the Charles Arny Jr. Award. (put in link to the awards list)