Thursday, August 26, 2021

The American Iris Society Announces the 2021 Randolph-Perry Medal Winners


The Randolph Perry Medal is restricted to interspecies irises (SPEC-X). It is named in honor of Dr. L. F. Randolph (1894-1980) and Amos Perry (1871-1953).

Dr. L. F. Randolph, or "Fitz" as he was affectionately called by his many friends and associates, Dr. Randolph was chairman of the AIS Scientific Committee from 1945 to 1956. The work he and his students Jyotirmay Mitra and Katherine Heinig did on iris chromosomes produced many published monographs and provide the basis of our scientific understanding of the genus. He conducted a number of extensive iris species collection expeditions and brought back new species and many new forms of other iris species, especially of I. pumila.

Amos Perry was born into a family of nurserymen. Perry was one of the first hybridizers to use the tetraploid irises 'Amas,' I trojana, I. mesopotamica and I. cypriana. He introduced scores of new bearded cultivars, but he was more interested in Siberian irises and iris species. He probably created more new hybrid interspecies irises than any other iris breeder. His new hybrid irises often had names that indicated their species parentage, such as 'Chrysogana' (I. chrysographes x I. bulleyana); 'Tebract' (I. tenax x I. bracteata); 'Longsib' (I. longipetala x I. siberica); and 'Chrysowigi' (I. chrysographes x I. hartwegi).

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

RYUGAN (Hiroshi Shimizu by Carol Warner)

'Ryugan' (Hiroshi Shimizu by Carol Warner, R. 2008) SPEC-X (Pseudata); 33" (84 cm), Very early. Standards light lemon yellow; style arms lemon yellow, ruffled tips brushed light wine-purple; falls light lemon yellow lightly sanded wine purple, signal deep yellow, speckled and sanded deep wine surrounded by deep wine eyelash pattern. 'Gubijin' X mixed JI pollen. Draycott 2008.

YARAI (Hiroshi Shimizu by Carol Warner)

'Yarai' (Hiroshi Shimizu by Carol Warner, 2011) SPEC-X (Pseudata); 27", Very early bloom. Falls light yellow background lightly veined and speckled wine red, presenting an orange appearance; standards more heavily wine red; prominent deep yellow signal. 'Gubijin' X unknown (mixed JI pollen). Draycott 2011.

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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