Saturday, August 21, 2021

The American Iris Society Announces the 2021 Cook-Douglas Medal Winners


 The Cook-Douglass Medal is restricted to standard dwarf bearded (SDB) irises. It is named in honor of Paul Cook (1891-1963) and Geddes Douglas (1902-1993). Paul Cook's work with dwarf irises was truly pioneering. His early breeding of dwarf irises led to a series of I. arenaria hybrids, the most notable being 'Keepsake,' 'Tampa,' and 'Promise.' He was the first to use the true I. pumila in his breeding programs, and this resulted in the introduction of the first of the great stud irises in the standard dwarf class: 'Baria,' 'Fairy Flax,' and 'Green Spot.'

Geddes Douglas was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1902. Douglas was a chemist and businessman. In the early 1950's, he founded the Geddes Douglas Garden Center in Nashville. He became a leader in the Tennessee Nurserymen's Association, and served a term as president of the Southern Nursery Association.

Editor’s Note: Due to the pandemic last year, the American Iris Society Board of Directors suspended garden awards. As a result, and for only this year, two medals will be award in this area. Previous awards winners can be found at

STOP AND STARE (Thomas Johnson)

'Stop And Stare' (Thomas Johnson, R. 2014) Seedling# TD258A. SDB, 13" (33 cm), Early bloom. Standards white, lemon tints, slight gold halo that fades with age; style arms white; falls large black spot with wide white band, small white dart below beard; beards yellow-orange, tipped white; slight fragrance. 'Capiche' X 'Riveting'. Mid-America 2014.


'Portland Pink' (Paul Black, R. 2015) Seedling# T234A. SDB, 15" (38 cm), Late to very late bloom. Standards mid pink; style arms mid-dark pink; falls mid peach-pink, darker haft and line from beard ½ way down petal, green-tan textured veins; beards dark tangerine-pink; slight spicy fragrance. 'Shorty' X seedling# R203A: (seedling# M166A, Inspired sibling x 'Love Spell'. 2015 Mid-America.

The World of Irises blog will be posting classification medal winners as soon as the hybridizers are notified. The entire list of winners, including award of merit and honorable mention, will be published in the AIS website, the AIS Encyclopedia, and later in the AIS Bulletin, IRISES.

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