Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Clarence G. White Medal Winner "Refiner's Fire"

By Renee Fraser

And the winner of the 2013 Clarence G. White Medal for an arilbred iris is... "Refiner's Fire"  

Since 1993, the Clarence G. White memorial medal has been awarded to the best arilbred iris with 1/2 or more aril ancestry that clearly exhibits at least two 
readily recognizable aril flower characteristics as defined and approved by the Aril Society International. (Before 1993, it was the C. G. White award, equivalent to an award of merit. Arilbreds must now earn an award of merit before they can qualify for the C. G. White medal.) The medal honors C. G. White, who in the 1950s created the family of fertile arilbreds that still dominates arilbred breeding today. 

More information on these hybrids of oncocyclus and regelia crosses to tall bearded irises at the Aril International Society Website.

Here is a description of this lovely iris from the American Iris Society Encyclopedia:
'Refiner's FireOGB (Peter McGrath, R. 2006). Sdlg McAB99-137. AB, 26" (66cm), Early midseason bloom. . S. lilac lavender, bronze orange veins and midrib; style arms bronze orange; falls same, large burgundy-red signal surrounded by slight blaze at upper half; beards white tipped yellow. Shockey 92-112, 'Desert Attire' Sib X'Babylonian Fires'. Aril Society 2007. Honorable Mention 2009, Award of Merit 2011.

"Refiner's Fire" McGrath (Photo credit Rick Tasco)

The hybridizer claims that "if we have a moist spring, the color saturation is so intense it leaps off of the flower."

This iris has been much honored, and climbed up the ranks in its earliest possible years of eligibility.  It is the only introduced offspring of the beautiful "Babylonian Fires."  It grows well in New Mexico, Texas, California, and similar climates.

Lowell Baumunk admiring "Refiner's Fire"  Photo credit:  Cindy Rivera

For more information on the AIS awards, you may visit the AIS Website, and for a full list of the winners this year with links to photos, go to the American Iris Society Encyclopedia.

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