Friday, August 27, 2021

The American Iris Society Announces the 2021 Mitchell Medal Winners


The Mitchel 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

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

‘Line Drawing’

'Line Drawing' (Joseph Ghio, R. 2009). Seedling #IP-159S2. CA, 14" (36 cm). Midseason bloom. Standards white ground lined dark blue; style arms deep blue; falls white ground, dark blue lines overall, intense blue stitched edge, green-gold dotted signal. 'Like Clockwork' X seedling #FP-265U, 'Foggy Days' sibling. Bay View 2009.


‘Corralitos Creek’

'Corralitos Creek' (Joseph Ghio, R. 2013) Seedling #MP-163A4. CA, 14" (36 cm). Late midseason bloom. Standards white, slight blue at distal edge; style arms dark blue; falls white, blue line radiates from signal to deep blue edge, deep blue halo signal. Seedling #KP-155L: ('Da Vinci Code' x seedling #IP-156S3: ('Foggy Days' x seedling #GP-404K3: ('Bar Code' x seedling #EP-153C2: ('Ocean Blue' x 'Star of Evening')))) X seedling #KP-154, 'Costanoa' sibling. Bay View 2013.

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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