Award Winners

Listed below are some of the award-winning irises as judged by the American Iris Society. AIS has a multi-tiered awards system, some of which is described below. In addition, a popularity poll of all old and new tall bearded irises is published by AIS each year, and many of the sections conduct their own popularity polls on their interests as well.

The British Iris Society publishes a Year Book and newsletters, along with awarding its own Dykes medal. Another prize of note is the international Premio Firenze, awarded each year in Florence. Other countries with organizations include Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, France, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.

The Dykes Medal is the overall top award, given to a single iris at most each year. (Since tall bearded irises have been the most popular, they have dominated this award.) Looking at Dykes medal winners over the years is a good way to learn about the history of modern hybridizing.

Other medals have been established for each classification of irises (Tall Bearded, Intermediate Bearded, Siberian, Spuria, etc.). These are given to the top irises from the classification each year. Some of these medals have been awarded for many years, and the list below includes only recent years for them. In other cases, the medal was established at the medal level for the first time in 1993.

A number of proven irises in each class earn the Award of Merit each year. The recent ones of these in each classification represent excellent recommendations for the gardener who wishes to try growing that type of iris. Complete information on these and other awards is available in AIS publications.

American Dykes Medal Winners

Year  Variety Name        Hybridizer, Year    

1927  San Francisco       Mohr,1927       
1929  Dauntless           Connell,1929    
1932  Rameses             H. Sass,1928    
1933  Coralie             Ayres,1932
1935  Sierra Blue         Essig,1932      
1936  Mary Geddes         Stahlmann,1931
1937  Missouri            Grinter,1933    
1938  Copper Lustre       Kirkland,1934
1939  Rosy Wings          Gage,1935
1940  Wabash              Williamson,1936
1941  The Red Douglass    J. Sass,1937
1942  Great Lakes         Cousins,1938
1943  Prairie Sunset      H. Sass,1939
1944  Spun Gold           Glutzbeck,1940
1945  Elmohr              Loomis,1942
1947  Chivalry            Wills,1943
1948  Ola Kala            J. Sass,1942
1950  Blue Rhythm         Whiting,1945
1951  Cherie              Hall,1945
1952  Argus Pheasant      DeForest,1947
1953  Truly Yours         Fay,1949
1954  Mary Randall        Fay,1950
1955  Sable Night         P. Cook,1950
1956  First Violet        DeForest,1951
1957  Violet Harmony      Lowry,1948
1958  Blue Sapphire       B. Schreiner,1953
1959  Swan Ballet         Muhlestein,1953
1961  Eleanor's Pride     Watkins,1952
1962  Whole Cloth         P. Cook,1956
1963  Amethyst Flame      R. Schreiner,1957
1964  Allegiance          P. Cook,1957
1965  Pacific Panorama    Sexton,1960
1966  Rippling Waters     Fay,1961
1967  Winter Olympics     O. Brown,1961
1968  Stepping Out        Schreiners,1964
1970  Skywatch            Benson,1963
1971  Debby Rairdon       Kuntz,1964
1972  Babbling Brook      Keppel,1965
1973  New Moon            Sexton,1968
1974  Shipshape           Babson,1969
1975  Pink Taffeta        Rudolph,1965
1976  Kilt Lilt           Gibson,1969
1977  Dream Lover         E. Tams,1970
1978  Bride's Halo        H. Mohr,1971
1979  Mary Frances        Gaulter,1971
1980  Mystique            Ghio,1972
1981  Brown Lasso         Buckles-Niswonger,1972
1982  Vanity              Hager,1974
1983  Ruffled Ballet      Roderick,1973
1984  Victoria Falls      Schreiner,1977
1985  Beverly Sills       Hager,1978
1986  Song of Norway      Luihn,1977
1988  Titan's Glory       Schreiner,1981
1990  Jesse's Song        Williamson,1979
1991  Everything Plus     Niswonger,1983
1992  Dusky Challenger    Schreiner,1986
1993  Edith Wolford       Hager,1984
1994  Silverado           Schreiner,1986
1995  Honky Tonk Blues    Schreiner,1988
1996  Before the Storm    Innerst,1988
1997  Thornbird           Byers,1988
1998  Conjuration         Byers,1988
1999  Hello Darkness      Schreiner,1992
2000  Stairway to Heaven  Lauer, 1993
2001  Yaquina Blue        Schreiner, 1992
2002  Mesmerizer          Byers
2003  Celebration Song    Schreiner
2004  Crowned Heads       Keppel
2005  Splashacata         Tasco
2006  Sea Power           Keppel
2007  Queen's Circle	  Kerr
2008  Starwoman           M. Smith
2009  Golden Panther	  Tasco
2010  Paul Black          T. Johnson
2011  Drama Queen         Keppel
2012  Florentine Silk	  Keppel
2013  Thats All Folks     Maryott by Ghio,2005

John C. Wister Medal (Tall Bearded Irises)

Year  Variety Name          Hybridizer

1993  Silverado             Schreiners
1994  Honky Tonk Blues      Schreiners
1995  Before the Storm      Innerst
1996  Thornbird             M. Byers
1997  Acoma                 Magee
1998  Hello Darkness        Schreiners
1998  Conjuration           M. Byers
1998  Yaquina Blue          Schreiners    
1999  Boogie Woogie         Nichols
1999  Stairway to Heaven    Lauer
1999  Rhonda Fleming        Mullin
2000  Mesmerizer            M. Byers
2000  Celebration Song      Schreiner's
2000  Clarence              Zurbrigg
2001  Fancy Woman           Keppel
2001  Pond Lily             E. Jones
2001  Spirit World          Keppel
2002  Local Color           Byers
2002  Jurassic Park         Lauer
2002  Gypsy Romance         Schreiner
2003  Crowned Heads         Keppel
2003  Diabolique            Schreiner
2003  Tom Johnson           Black
2004  Splashacata           Tasco
2004  World Premier         Schreiner
2004  Poem of Ecstasy       Hager
2005  Sea Power             Keppel
2005  Fogbound              Keppel
2005  Uncle Charlie         Keppel
2006  Queen's Circle        Kerr
2006  Golden Panther        Tasco
2006  Happenstance          Keppel
2007  Starring              Ghio
2007  Ring around Rosie     Ernst
2007  Daughter of Stars     Spoon
2008  Millennium Falcon     Kasperek
2008  Hollywood Nights      Duncan
2008  Heartstring Strummer  B. Johnson
2009  Paul Black            T. Johnson
2009  Drama Queen           Keppel
2009  Italian Ice           A.&D. Cadd
2009  Slovak Prince         Mego
2010  Decadence             Blyth
2010  Wintry Sky            Keppel
2010  Crackling Caldera     Aitken
2011  Florentine Silk       Keppel
2011  That's All Folks      Maryott by Ghio
2011  Tour de France        Keppel
2012  Gypsy Lord            Keppel
2012  Kathy Chilton         Kerr
2012  Chief John Jolly      Parkhill
2013  Absolute Treasure     Tasco
2013  Elizabethan Age       Baumunk
2013  Ink Patterns          T. Johnson

Knowlton Medal (Border Bearded Irises)

Year  Variety Name      Hybridizer

1991  Shenanigan        Keppel
1992  Batik             A. Ensminger
1993  Zinc Pink         A. Ensminger
1994  Zinger            S. Stevens
1995  Calico Cat        C. Lankow
1996  Lenora Pearl      H. Nichols
1997  Sonja's Selah     A. Ensminger
1998  Red Rooster       J. Durrance
1999  Petite Ballet     K. Keppel
2000  Apricot Frosty    K. Keppel
2001  Cranapple         Aitken
2002  Baboon Bottom     Kasperek
2003  Lemon Up          Magee
2004  Orange Pop        Lauer
2005  Christiana Baker  Kerr
2006  Anaconda Love     Kasperek
2007  Go for Bold       Black
2008  Teapot Tempest    L. Markham
2009  Border Control    T. Johnson
2010  Eye Candy         Keppel
2011  Fleece as White	P. Black
2012  Crow's Feet       P. Black
2013  Bundle of Love    P. Black

Hans and Jacob Sass Medal (Intermediate Bearded Irises)

Year  Variety Name            Hybridizer

1991  Butter Pecan            B. Hager
1992  Hot Fudge               B. Hager
1993  Maui Moonlight          Aitken
1994  Ask Alma                C. Lankow
1995  Blue Eyed Blonde        A. Ensminger
1996  Lemon Pop               L. Lauer
1997  Hot Spice               Aitken
1998  Cee Jay                 C. Lankow
1999  Prince of Burgundy      O.D. Niswonger
2000  Dark Waters             Aitken
2001  Maui Gold               Aitken
2002  Protocol                Keppel
2003  Bottled Sunshine        H. Nichols
2004  Gnu Rayz                Kasperek
2005  Starwoman               M. Smith
2006  Midsummer Night's Dream Baumunk
2007  Delirium                M. Smith
2008  Ming                    M. Smith
2009  Devil May Care          P. Black
2010  Ruby Slippers           Keppel
2011  Garnet Slippers         Keppel
2012  Nickel                  P. Black
2013  Rimaround               Aitken

Cook-Douglas Medal (Standard Dwarf Bearded Irises)

Year  Variety Name      Hybridizer

1991  Chubby Cheeks     P. Black
1992  Sun Doll          B. Jones
1993  Dark Vader        R.&L. Miller
1994  Orange Tiger      B. Jones
1995  Serenity Prayer   P. Dyer
1996  Pumpin' Iron      P. Black
1997  Bedford Lilac     B. Jones
1998  Little Showoff    E. Hall
1999  Pele              T. Aitken
2000  Vavoom            Ensminger
2001  Starbaby          M. Smith
2002  Little Blue Eyes  J. Weiler
2003  Dot Com           B. Jones
2004  Minidragon        M. Smith
2005  Marksman          M. Smith
2006  Ruby Eruption     Chapman
2007  Music             Keppel
2008  Cat's Eye         P. Black
2009  Puddy Tat         P. Black
2010  Ultimate          T. Johnson
2011  Fires of Fiji     P. Black
2012  Bluebeard's Ghost P. Black
2013  Wish Upon a Star  P. Black

Caparne-Welch Medal (Miniature Dwarf Bearded Irises)

Year  Variety Name        Hybridizer

1991  Puppet Baby         C. Boswell
1992  Chubby Cherub       Aitken
1993  Sparky              Aitken
1994  Funny Face          M. Brizendine
1995  Spot of Tea         P. Black
1996  Cinnamon Apples     P. Black
1997  Grapelet            Aitken
1998  Snuggles            L. Miller
1999  Tooth Fairy         B. Jones
2000  Bugsy               B. Hager 
2001  Hey There           Carol Lankow
2002  Scruples            L. Miller
2003  Squiggles           L. Miller
2004  Dinky Circus        P. Black
2005  Little Drummer Boy  A.& D. Willott
2006  African Wine        Kasperek
2007  Wise                T. Johnson
2008  Yak Attack          Kasperek
2009  Tiny Titan          Aitken
2010  Chemistry           P. Black
2011  Fission Chips       Keppel
2012  Dollop of Cream     P. Black
2013  Trimmed Velvet      D. Spoon

Payne Medal (Japanese Irises)

Year  Variety Name              Hybridizer

1993  Oriental Eyes             A. Vogt
1994  Caprician Butterfly       Marx
1995  Cascade Crest             J.T. Aitken
1996  [tie]
      Edge of Frost             Dienstbach
      Kalamazoo                 A. Hazzard
1997  [tie]
      Electric Rays             J.T. Aitken
      Iapetus                   S. Innerst 
1998  Butterflies in Flight     T. Aitken
1999  Geisha Obi                L. Rich
2000  Bellender Blue            A. Hazzard
2001  Picotee Princess          Reid
2002  Electric Glow             J.T. Aitken
2003  Lion King                 Bauer/Coble
2003  Raspberry Glow            J.T. Aitken
2004  Epimetheus                S. Innerst
2005  Blue Spritz               D. Delmez
2006  Sing the Blues            L. Reid
2007  Dirigo Pink Milestone     J. White
2008  Raspberry Candy           Bauer/Coble
2009  Little Bow Pink           D. Delmez
2010  Sue Jo                    D. Delmez
2011  Lake Effect               Bauer/Coble
2012  Coho                      C. Harris
2013  Bewitching Twilight       C. Harris

Debaillon Medal (Louisiana Irises)

Year  Variety Name      Hybridizer

1991  Rhett             M. Dunn
1992  Bajazzo           M. Dunn
1993  Frank Chowning    H. Rowlan
1994  Jeri              N. Bertinot
1995  Kay Nelson        M. Granger
1996  Professor Jim     Mertzweiller
1997  Voo Doo Magic     H. Rowlan
1998  Bayou Mystique    M. Dunn
1999  Professor Neil    J. Mertzweiller
2000  Cajun Sunrise     J. Mertzweiller
2001  Praline Festival  Haymon
2002  Extraordinaire    M. Dunn
2003  Cajun Sunset      M. Granger
2004  Hot and Spicy     H. Pryor
2005  Red Velvet Elvis  K. Vaughn
2006  Peaches in Wine   H. Pryor
2007  My Friend Dick    Butler by Faith
2008  Great White Hope  Haymon
2009  Henry Rowlan      M. D. Faith
2010  Night Thunder     R. Morgan
2011  Raspberry Rilla	R. Hickerson
2012  Ginny's Choice    W. Rudkin
2013  James Faith       M.D. Faith

Williamson-White Medal (Miniature Tall Bearded Irises)

Year  Variety Name       Hybridizer

1993  Bumblebee Deelite  J.&D. Norrick
1994  Rosemary's Dream   M. Dunderman
1995  Frosted Velvet     K. Fisher
1996  Petite Monet       K. Steele
1997  Zula               K. Fisher
1998  Striped Pants      K. Fisher
1999  Pretty Quirky      A. Probst
1999  Billie the Brownie J. Burton
2000  Pardner            K. Fisher
2001  Bangles            L. Miller
2002  Reminiscence       C. Mahan
2003  Apricot Drops      J.T. Aitken
2004  Merit              K. Fisher
2005  Ace                L. Miller
2006  Baubles and Beads  L. Miller
2007  Madam President    H. Thurman
2008  Maslon             D. Spoon
2009  Somewhat Quirky	 R. Probst
2010  Sailor's Dream     K. Fisher
2011  Dividing Line      C. Bunnell
2012  Plum Quirky        R. Probst
2013  Peebee and Jay	 B.&D. Schmieder

C.G. White Medal (1/2 or more Aril)

Year  Variety Name              Hybridizer

1993  Syrian Jewel              H. Shockey
1994  Khyber Pass               K. Kidd
1995  Persian Padishah          H. Shockey
1996  Syrian Princess           H. Shockey
1997  Turkish Pendant           H. Shockey
1998  Kalifa's Robe             B. Hager
1999  Queen Sheba               H. Shockey
2000  Sheba's Jewel             H. Shockey
2001  Desert Fury               H. Shockey
2002  Lancer                    H. Shockey
2003  Energizer                 H. Shockey
2004  Chocolate Mint            R. Tasco
2005  Concerto Grosso           H. Mathes
2006  Omar's Stitchery          C. Boswell
2007  Omar's Eye                C. Boswell
2008  Byzantine Art             L. Baumunk
2009  Spirit of Caleb           P. McGrath
2010  Rivers of Babylon         L. Baumunk
2011  Hammurabi                 L. Baumunk
2012  Noble Warrior             R. Tasco
2013  Refiner's Fire            P. McGrath

William Mohr Medal (1/4 to 1/2 Aril)

Year  Variety Name              Hybridizer

1993  Jewel of Omar             C. Boswell
1994  Omar's Torch              C. Boswell
1995  Smoke with Wine           C. Boswell
1996  Solomon's Glory           H. Nichols
1997  Omar the Tentmaker        C. Boswell
1998  [tie]
      Bozrah                    F. Gadd
      Prairie Thunder           P. Black
1999  Patriot's Gem             F. Gadd
2000  Silent Tears              L. Peterson
2001  Kalifa's Horn             Annand
2002  Omar's Gold               C. Boswell
2003  She Devil                 P. Black
2004  Desert Celebration        L. Flanagan
2005  Desert Jubilee            L. Flanagan
2006  Walker Ross               Ross by Chapman
2007  Hakuna Matata             A.&D. Cadd
2008  Shabaza                   G. Sutton
2009  Sue Bee                   Kammer by Stanek
2010  Ulalena                   G. Sutton
2011  Persian Sapphire          L. Baumunk
2012  Suspect                   T. Johnson
2013  Egyptian Queen            T. Johnson

Nies Medal (Spuria)

Year  Variety Name              Hybridizer

1993  Betty Cooper              E. McCown
1994  Son of Sun                Wickenkamp
1995  Cinnamon Stick            O.D. Niswonger
1996  Chocolate Fudge           O.D. Niswonger
1997  Countess Zeppelin         B. Hager
1998  Missouri Rivers           O.D. Niswonger 
1999  Sultan's Sash             O.D. Niswonger
2000  Ila Remembered            B. Hager
2001  Missouri Springs          O.D. Niswonger
2002  Sunrise in Missouri       O.D. Niswonger
2003  Missouri Sunset           O.D. Niswonger
2004  Missouri Rainbows         O.D. Niswonger
2005  Missouri Iron Ore         O.D. Niswonger
2006  Adriatic Blue             O.D. Niswonger
2007  Missouri Orange           O.D. Niswonger
2008  Elfin Sunshine            Jenkins
2009  Missouri Autumn           O.D. Niswonger
2010  Missouri Dreamland        O.D. Niswonger
2011  Speeding Star             A.&D. Cadd
2012  Solar Fusion              L. Walker
2013  Missouri Orchid           O.D. Niswonger

Mitchell Medal (Pacific Coast Irises)

Year  Variety Name              Hybridizer

1993  Mimsey                    V. Wood
1994  Drive you Wild            Ghio
      Simply Wild               Ghio
1995  Sierra Dell               L. Lawyer
1996  Idylwild                  Ghio
1997  Night Editor              Ghio
1998  Pacific Rim               B. Jones
1999  Chief Sequoia             J. Weiler
2000  Pink Cupid                V. Wood
2001  Jean Erickson             Rigby
2002  Sea Gal                   Belardi
2003  Sea Admiral               V. Wood
2004  Raspberry Dazzler         V. Wood
2005  Sierra Azul               J. Ghio
2006  Cozumel                   J. Ghio
2007  Pacific Miss              Belardi
2008  Wine and Cheese           V. Wood
2009  Mendocino Blue            R.&J. Canning
2010  Wild Survivor             W. Plotner
2011  Bar Code                  J. Ghio
2011  Star of Wonder            J. Ghio
2012  Blue Plate Special        J. Ghio
2012  Ocean Blue                J. Ghio
2013  Hidden Asset              D. Meek
2013  Lines that Rhyme          J. Ghio

Founders of SIGNA Medal (Species irises)

Year  Variety Name              Hybridizer

2000  Dotted Line               L. Reid
2001  Between the Lines         Schafer/Sacks
2002  Candystriper              Warburton
2003  Marvell Gold              J. Waddick
2004  China West Lake           J. Waddick
2005  Powder Blue Giant         S. Norris
2006  John Wood                 Wood by Lineberger
2007  Bayou Bandit              Weeks by Campbell
2008  Krill                     J. Copeland
2009  Petit Lion                L. Baumunk
2010  Raspberry Slurp           R. Butler
2011  Seakrill                  J. Copeland
2012  Z Z Zanzibar              B. Kasperek
2013  Woolong                   J. Waddick

Randolph-Perry Medal (Interspecies irises)

Year  Variety Name              Hybridizer

2000  Phil Edinger              Hager
2001  Holden's Child            S. Tiffney
2002  Aquatic Alliance          L. Reid
2003  Cascade Velvet            J. Halinar
2004  Enfant Prodige            T. Huber
2005  Pixie Won                 J. Copeland
2006  [no award]
2007  Sibtosa Princess          Tamberg
2008  Alpha Gnu                 Kasperek
2009  Dolce                     P. Black
2010  Ally Oops                 D. Borglum
2011  Night Mood                L. Markham
2012  For Jay                   J. Copeland
2013  Roy's Repeater            J.T. Aitken

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