Friday, August 24, 2018

Mitchell Medal 2018

The American Iris Society
The Sydney B. Mitchell Medal 2018

'Pacific Tapestry'--image by Terry Aitken

'Pacific Tapestry' (J. Terry Aitken, R. 2010). Standards purple veined darker; style arms purple; falls yellow underlay, network of brown veins interspersed with brown speckling that radiates to rim; velvety. 'Bar Code' X unknown. Salmon Creek 2010. Award of Merit 2015.

This medal is restricted to Pacific Coast Native (PCN) irises. It is named in honor of Sydney B. Mitchell (1878-1951). Prof. Sydney Mitchell was an educator. He became Acting Librarian at the University of California during WW I, and later founded and became first director of the Graduate School of Librarianship at that university. He was also one of the organizers of the American Iris Society. Tom Craig wrote this of him: "Sydney looked upon plant breeding as a long term international effort in which individuals from all over the world should co-operate and add generation after generation to a real human achievement. He made me feel a real part of this and more particularly a part of a special work started by William Mohr and carried on by himself. Sydney generously gave flowers and plants of seedling for further encouragement with this work."

Mitchell was also interested in the native irises of the West Coast, and promoted them at every opportunity. He took great pride in the plantings of PCNs in his own garden. He had a large collection of various forms of I. innominata and I. douglasiana.

The World of Irises blog will be posting once a day all of the medal winners. The entire list of winners can be found at, the AIS Encyclopedia and later in the AIS Bulletin, IRISES. Pictures can be found at

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