Monday, December 18, 2023

Iris that have performed well in the dry Spring in South Australia

by Mel Schiller

This past Spring at Smokin Heights was one of the driest that we've ever had. It has been a shock to our systems. We started watering the iris in September using treated water from the Murray River, which we pay to use per kilolitre. This water lacks the quality of rainwater from the sky, and I cannot possibly drink it. For me, it doesn't taste the best when compared to the rainwater I've been drinking since I was a child. 

Irises that impressed us last season, given the hot and dry spring, are as follows.

'Believe' (Johnson, 2021) 
The first time standard dwarf bearded (SDB) 'Believe' bloomed for us it did not disappoint. Ten stems on a two-year clump; you can only see half the clump in the photo. A common problem in Australia is that SDBs often bloom in the foliage because it doesn't get cold enough. This one doesn't have that problem; beautifully formed blooms open well above the foliage. 

 'Orange Peel' (Keppel, 2022)
The little SDB 'Orange Peel' only came out of quarantine at the beginning of the year and blessed us with blooms this past Spring. Probably the brightest orange iris we have grown to date, it is absolutely luminous!

 'Sky and Meadow' (Black, 2019)
Another little one, 'Sky and Meadow,' has proven to be a very good performer in our climate. In general, SDBs that we import can be unreliable when it comes to blooming each Spring. This one has bloomed every Spring without fail since it came to Australia. 

'Yoda' (Blyth, 2012)
An Australian-bred SDB that performs fantastically in our climate. It is also a fantastic parent!

'Ben David' (Fankhauser, 1989)
This arilbred (OGB) has proven to be a fantastic parent for us. It has given many seedlings in shades of dusty pink. We will be using this variety a lot more in the future to see if a true pink arilbred with a black signal can be created.

'Firefly Frenzy' (Tasco, 2017)
Probably our favourite arilbred (OGB) that we've imported to date. Stems in our garden can have up to 5 buds on a stem. Unfortunately, we think that it is infertile as we've tried making crosses with it every year but with no success.

'Oyez' (White, 1938)
The oldest iris in our collection is the arilbred OGB diploid 'Oynz.' It is a bit temperamental growth-wise and blooms every other year, but when it does decide to bloom, we don't complain. There's really nothing else quite like this iris on the market. Despite its shortcomings, we still like to grow it for its uniqueness.

'Atomic Sunset' (B. Schiller, 2020)
One of Bailey's tall bearded (TB) introductions from 2020, a super bright orange near amoena. An early bloomer that we always look forward to seeing. It is a difficult parent, but we should be seeing results from it next Spring.

'Black Friday' (Schreiner, 2020)
This TB variety decided to open on one of the few rainy days that we had this last Spring. This is a fortunate event as the Australian heat tends to burn the buds in these dark colours before they even open. It made such an impact that Mel decided to add it to her 'black' breeding line.

'Creative Confusion' (M. Sutton, 2020)
Another TB that bloomed on one of the only rainy days throughout Spring. We have been waiting for this one to bloom since we imported it and boy, it did not disappoint! We tried doing as many crosses with it as possible, hopefully we get some good results.

'Spiral Galaxy' (Ghio, 2012)
This TB is one of those varieties that will always have a home in our garden. An intensely bright yellow; it is like a beacon, drawing you in from afar. 

'Zofonic Dancer' (M. Schiller, 2022)
One of Mel's introductions from last year bloomed from the end of July until the end of October. We couldn't believe how many stems it kept sending up. It had rebloomed once before, but not to this extent. It looked amazing in full bloom!

As this blog post has been written we have thankfully experienced a very wet weekend 36 mm (102 points) so far over the past two days. The air is fresh the lawns and iris are green and refreshed. A good rain fixes our hearts and minds. It shows a new lease on life. The Kookaburra's laugh from the tree tops is contagious! 

We wish you all a blessed and safe Christmas with your family and friends. Enjoy the time together and make memories to cherish we know all too well, life is too short. <3  

Happy gardening and for our friends experiencing winter.....keep warm and enjoy our photo's from Down Under. XX

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Using Species in MDB Breeding, Part 3: Iris reichenbachii x Iris pumila

by Tom Waters

This is the conclusion of a three-part posting describing projects with miniature dwarf bearded (MDB) and standard dwarf bearded (SDB) irises. The first and second installments were posted in July and October 2023. 

My goal for this hybridizing project is to produce a true-breeding line of MDBs that belong to the same fertile family as the SDBs and MDBs from SDB breeding. In theory, using species and species hybrids that are compatible with SDBs will circumvent the tall bearded ancestry that can lead to larger, out-of-class plants. The earlier installments cover the use of Iris lutescens and of a hybrid of Iris aphylla x I. pumila. 

The current post describes work with seedlings from I. reichenbachii x I. pumila. This third avenue of work is, to me, the most exciting and promising. However, I got started with it a bit later than the first two approaches, so it is less far along.

I. reichenbachii is a species native to the Balkan peninsula. It comes in both diploid and tetraploid forms. (The tetraploid species I. balkana is considered a synonym of I. reichenbachii.) Plants typically have very slender stems topped with two buds, ranging in height from about 6 inches to about 12 inches. Flowers are either yellow in color or some blend of violet, brown, and gray. This species is probably best known as a parent of Paul Cook’s famousProgenitor (R. 1951), which introduced the dominant bicolor pattern into tall bearded irises.

The tetraploid forms of the species belong to the same fertile family as TBs and I. aphylla. Hence crossing it with I. pumila ought to produce plants compatible with SDBs, just like the aphylla x pumila cross described in part 2.

tetraploid I. reichenbachii ex Mt. Vikos, Greece

I have raised a number of these (cross S026) from crossing a yellow tetraploid I. reichenbachii from Mt. Vikos, Greece, with I. pumila Royal Wonder (Coleman, 2013). About half the seedlings are yellow and half are purple. They are all about 5 inches tall, with one or two dainty flowers per stalk. Because I. reichenbachii is so much smaller and daintier than I. aphylla, I believe these plants have even greater potential to produce consistently small and dainty MDBs. I have made as many crosses with them as possible. So far, they are not cooperating as pod parents, although they produce plenty of fertile pollen.

I. reichenbachii X 'Royal Wonder'
I. reichenbachii X 'Royal Wonder'


I am eagerly awaiting bloom in 2024 of seedlings from Miniseries (Keppel, 2011) X S026-02. Still in the pipeline are crosses of the S026 seedlings with Arson (Keppel, 2016, SDB), Come and Get It (Black, 2013, SDB), Dollop of Cream’ (Black, 2006), Oh Grow Up (Miller, 2018), Pearly Whites (Black, 2014), Self Evident (Hager, 1997), Tasty Treat(Johnson, 2020, SDB), and Pirate’s Apprentice (Hager, 2003). 

Multi-generational breeding projects like this one require patience and a certain amount of faith in the theory behind them. It can be a long slog with little immediate gratification. But it can also be very satisfying to pursue curiosity about paths not taken before and to learn as one goes. For me, this type of undertaking matches well with my limited space and my penchant for careful planning. Perhaps in a few more years, the groundwork described in these three posts will yield something worthy of being grown in gardens or meriting the attention of other hybridizers. Until then, the learning itself is a fine reward.

Monday, November 27, 2023

A Growing Iris Resource on YouTube: Part VI

 by Heather Haley

In this post, I'll continue sharing an update for a growing iris resource on YouTube. The American Iris Society (AIS) uses its YouTube Channel to help organize and disseminate knowledge of the genus Iris, while fostering its preservation, enjoyment, and continued development. Many of the videos available are from the AIS Webinar Series, and their upload was planned for the benefit of all persons interested in irises.

In "A Growing Iris Resource On YouTube: Part I," I shared the origin of the AIS Webinar Series in 2020 as well as descriptions of recorded presentations that brought iris enthusiasts together during the pandemic. As the Webinar Series continued, I shared in Parts IIIII, and IV
The following describes the remaining webinars that AIS volunteers prepared, delivered, recorded, and posted to our YouTube Channel during 2023.

Webinar #31  - “ Judging Bearded Irises as Garden Plants” with Stephanie Markham

Stephanie Markham is an AIS Master Judge and serves as the judges training chairperson for the region she lives in (AIS Region 1).  In this webinar, you can learn about holistic methods that judges use to evaluate bearded irises in the garden for AIS awards.

Alan McMurtrie is a hybridizer of bulbous irises, notably Iris reticulata hybrids. His groundbreaking work has earned him several awards, including the AIS Hybridizer Award in 2019. In this webinar learn about the amazing world of reticulatas; the first iris to bloom after snow disappears.

Webinar #33 - “Historic Iris of Japan” with Chad Harris

Chad Harris has been growing and hybridizing Japanese irises for 40 years, and has introduced more than 30  Japanese irises and 10 species cultivars or species hybrid cultivars. He is an AIS Master Judge, winner of the AIS Hybridizer Award in 2022, and the co-chair of the AIS National Convention in June 2024.  In this webinar, learn about Chad's nine-year effort to research and preserve a collection of historic Japanese irises.

Webinar #34  - “Knowing and Growing Siberian Irises” with Bob Hollingworth

Bob Hollingworth has been growing and hybridizing Siberian irises for more than 40 years. He received the AIS Hybridizer's Award in 1997, and his work includes 11 winners of the Morgan-Wood Medal and creation of the only Siberian iris to win the American Dykes Medal, 'Swans in Flight.' In this webinar, Bob expands on a previous judges training and discusses what it takes to grow Siberian irises and recent hybridizing activities that help us catch a glimpse into the future.

Webinar #35  - “The Exciting Irises of the Middle East” with Dr. Dr. Ori Fragman-Sapir

Dr. Ori Fragman-Sapir has been the scientific editor of the “Flora of Israel and adjacent areas” website and is the scientific director of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens. He is an expert on the Mediterranean and West Asian floras, as well as on geophytes, plant conservation, and sustainable horticulture. In this webinar, learn about the native irises of Israel and the Middle East, with inclusions from Jordan and Syria.

Webinar #36  - “A Romp Through the Iris Family” with Bob Pries

Bob Pries, in his own words, is a “frustrated botanist who gave up academia to make a living.” Beyond that, however, Bob has used his botanical knowledge and his interest in the Iridaceae to create one of the greatest resources available in the horticultural world, the AIS Iris Encyclopedia (a.k.a. the "iris wiki"), which includes the Ben R. Hager-Sidney P. DuBose Memorial Online Iris Library. In this webinar, learn about cultivation, evolution, and biodiversity within the iris family: Iridaceae.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Prolong the Pleasure of Bloom with Spuria Irises

 by Sylvain Ruaud

A Canadian iris enthusiast, author of "Les Iris" (Editions de l'Homme, Quebec, 2007), says: "If you grow bearded irises successfully, you can grow spurias, which are not as difficult as some other non-bearded species." What's more, these spurias have the good idea of flowering immediately after the large irises, so they ensure that the pleasure is prolonged.

They're not very well known, probably because they were only developed in the 50s, which is nothing compared to the large irises that have been cultivated for 150 years. Yet it was the famous English botanist Michael Foster (1836/1907) who, around 1870, was the first to take an interest in spurias. By crossing Iris orientalis and I. crocea, he obtained a hybrid he christened 'Shelford Giant' which, in addition to its tall stature, had a creamy white color with golden signal of I. orientalis, a species native to Turkey but also found on the Aegean islands of Lesbos and Samos. Contemporary iris hybridizer Clarence E. Mahan had this to say about Sir Michaël Foster's work: "The most famous spuria obtained by Foster is a cultivar in two shades of blue which he named 'Monspur'. This name is derived from two species that Foster thought were his parents: I monnieri and I. spuria." 

Iris spuria by Redouté in Les liliacées

Iris monnieri by Redouté in Les liliacées

In fact, 'Monspur' would not come from the species known today as spuria, but rather from a subspecies (either I. spuria subsp. halophila or musulmanica). Chromosomal analysis of available 'Monspur' plants suggests this, but it's not certain that this is the true cultivar obtained by Sir Michael. In any case, the name 'Monspur' has practically become synonymous with spuria! Together with the creamy white 'Shelford Giant', it forms the basis of modern spurias. The man who best describes the development of spuria irises is Geoffrey Stebbings in his book "The Gardener's Guide to Growing Irises" (David and Charles, 1997)
... the real work of hybridizing spurias began in California in the 1940s. It was here that Eric Nies used 'Monspur' to create a series of irises that were so important that the supreme annual award for spurias was given the name 'Eric Nies Award'. When he died, Marion Walker recovered his stock and introduced several of his last seedlings, which remain among the best today and include the popular blue-violet 'Ruth Nies Cabeen' (40) and 'Sunlit Sea' (56), a medium blue with a deep yellow signal on the sepals.
Iris spuria subsp. halophila in Curtis's Botanical Magazine

Since those heroic days, Spurias have evolved. The flowers have grown in size, the "spidery" appearance of the early ones has given way to something more voluminous, with petals as well as sepals, and a few undulations have appeared. The choice of colors has also expanded: from the yellow-centered white of the beginnings to pure white, mauve, perfect yellow and brown, often combined with yellow for a kind of plicata.

In Eric Nies's time, Carl Milliken recorded 'White Heron' (1948, Nies Award 1958) and above all the yellow 'Wadi Zem-Zem' (1953, Nies Award 1956), which has the advantage of being resistant to virus attacks, which is important in irises that before him were very susceptible to these infections.

The hybridization of iris spurias began with the above varieties and a few others of lesser importance. After Eric Nies, Carl Milliken and Marion Walker, the torch was taken up by Walker Ferguson and then Ben Hager, who dominated the spuria world for many years before Dave Niswonger came along and swept all the awards (between 1999 and 2022 he won ten Nies Awards, only giving way in 2000 to Ben Hager and in 2008 to Charles Jenkins, then from 2021, and his demise). Today, the big spurias with 2n=40 chromosomes, at 1.00 m. or 1.20 m. tall, dominate the end of our seasons, in an increasingly complete choice of colors, since even orange is part of the panoply. They've never been as adored as the big irises, but their place is growing stronger every year.

1999 = 'Sultan's Sash' (Niswonger, 1990)
2000 = 'Ila Remembered' (Hager, 1992)
2001 = 'Missouri Springs' (Niswonger, 1994)
2002 = 'Sunrise in Missouri' (Niswonger, 1995)
2003 = 'Missouri Sunset' (Niswonger, 1995)
2004 = 'Missouri Rainbows' (Niswonger, 1997)
2005 = 'Missouri Iron Ore' (Niswonger, 1997)
2006 = 'Adriatic Blue' (Niswonger, 1996)
2007 = 'Missouri Orange' (Niswonger, 1998)
2008 = 'Elfin Sunshine' (Jenkins, 1998)
2009 = 'Missouri Autumn' (Niswonger, 1996)
2010 = 'Missouri Dreamland' (Niswonger, 1999)
2011 = 'Speeding Star' (Cadd, 2002)
2012 = 'Solar Fusion' (Walker, 2004)
2013 = 'Missouri Orchid' (Niswonger, 2006)
2014 = 'Gorden Ducat' (Cadd, 2004)
2015 = 'Missouri Morning' (Niswonger, 2007)
2016 = 'Castor River (Niswonger, 2006)
2017 = 'Line Dancing' (Jenkins, 2007)
2018 = 'Lemon Chiffon Pie' (Cadd, 2006)
2019 = 'Red War Clouds' (Walker, 2009)
2020 = no award
2021 = 'Steely Don' (Aitken, 2012)
2021 = 'Ibis Express' (Kasperek, 2012)
2022 = 'Ode to a Toad' (Kasperek, 2012)
2023 = 'Hot Chili' (Atiken, 2014)

Monday, November 6, 2023

IRISES: The Bulletin of the AIS - Fall 2023 Edition

By Andi Rivarola

A warm welcome to those who are seeing IRISES, the Bulletin of The American Iris Society for the first time. If you are a member of The American Iris Society I hope you enjoy this new issue.

The Fall 2023 issue of the AIS Bulletin is already available online, accessible via the Emembers section of the AIS website. The print copy has been mailed via the U.S. Post Office. On the cover, the 2023 Dykes Medal winner 'Don't Doubt Dalton' (Tom Burseen 2015, TB).

Note: to access this area of the website, you must have a current AIS Emembership. (AIS Emembership is separate from the normal AIS membership.) Please see the Electronic Membership Information are of the AIS website for more details.

The AIS 2023 Awards are in full display beginning with the cover, back cover and all other winners displayed on pages 2 - 3. The listing of all winners are on pages 12 to 19.

A great recap of Region 21's Spring Garden Tour is included on pages 20 - 24.

A heartwarming tribute to Don Spoon on 25 - 31.

Don't miss the fantastic article by Charles Perilloux, about the Preservation of the Native Species of Louisiana Irises on pages 32 through 40.

Hot! Hot! Hot! Watering Irises When It's Hot, a very interesting article by Claire Schneider is on pages 41 to 43.

The Oklahoma Iris Festival and More by Michael Kowalchyk is on pages 44 to 47. Don't miss it. 

An invitation to the Spuria and Louisiana Iris Societies Combined Convention is on pages 48 and 49.

Everything you need to know about the New Horizons 2024 Portland National Convention is on pages 50 and 55.

Recommendations from the new AIS Membership Secretary, Jean Richter on pages 56 and 57.

The article, Are Japanese Irises Delicate Now Way! on pages 58 and 59.

A final article on Iris Grown in Containers: Part Four, on pages 60 and 61.

There's a lot more to see and read in this edition of IRISES, either in digital or print formats.


Support the Work of The American Iris Society by Becoming a Member:

Not a member of the American Iris Society? Please see our website for information about becoming one:
Happy Gardening!

  • The Annual Full Membership receives both benefits described above.
  • Participate in AIS’s bi-monthly Webinar Series featuring AIS experts from around the U.S.
  • Get to know about our lesser known irises, such as species, spuria, Japanese, Louisiana, Siberian and other beardless irises.
  • Participate in the Annual convention. The next convention will be in Portland, OR in 2024.  
  • Support AIS's Mission of education, conservation, research, preserving historical archives, and outreach projects.
  • Did you know that The American Iris Society is the registration authority for all rhizomatous irises worldwide?  
  • The Iris Encyclopedia is available 24-7, 365 days a year, and filled with a wealth of iris knowledge. Stop by for a visit!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Chicken Trees vs Louisiana Irises (The irises won!)

 By Gary Salathe

My non-profit, the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI), has a Louisiana iris restoration project underway with our partners, the Friends of the Palmetto Island State Park, at the boardwalk in Palmetto Island State Park near Abbeville, Louisiana. One of the project's goals is to increase the number of Louisiana species Iris nelsonii (common name Abbeville Red iris) growing in the swamp at the boardwalk. One critical job that needed to be accomplished was to remove the Chinese tallow invasive tree species from the boardwalk swamp where the irises would be planted.

This photo was taken at the boardwalk swamp this past April. We hope to have 2,000 I. nelsonii species of the Louisiana iris blooming at the park's boardwalk for the 2025 Bayou Teche Native Louisiana Iris Festival. The second day of the festival will be held at Palmetto Island State Park to celebrate the I. nelsonii Louisiana iris.

The Chinese tallow is a drought-tolerant tree native to China and Japan. It was first introduced in South Carolina during the 1700s as an ornamental tree and then for making soap from seed oils. It can be found from eastern North Carolina southward to Florida. From Florida, it spread westerly through Louisiana and Arkansas into Texas.

This August 2023 photo was taken from the Palmetto Island State Park boardwalk in the swamp where the irises will be planted this fall. As seen in the photo, all trees that are 30' tall or smaller are invasive Chinese tallow trees.

Chinese tallow trees can be identified by broad, waxy-green leaves, often with an extended tip or "tail." New growth briefly appears reddish.

In the early 1900s, it was used as an ornamental tree in Louisiana because most of Louisiana's native trees do not produce fall-colored leaves. The Chinese tallow tree does.

The Chinese tallow tree can be easily spotted in Louisiana forests when its leaves change color in late fall. Once this happens, the green color starts to fade from the leaves, and then reds, oranges, and yellows become visible. The leaves from most of Louisiana's native hardwood trees turn brown in color.

The south/central part of Louisiana, where Palmetto Island State Park is located, is part of Louisiana's Acadiana region, also known as Cajun country. In this region, the Chinese tallow tree is known as the "Chicken tree."

The Chicken trees needed to be removed from the park's boardwalk swamp before the two iris plantings planned for later this year. This was because the Chicken trees would compete with the irises, just as they were competing with the native Bald Cypress in the boardwalk swamp for moisture and nutrients in the soil. Also, trying to remove the Chicken trees after the irises were planted would risk volunteers trampling the irises. A decision was made by LICI and the park manager to set September 9, 2023 as the day to remove the Chicken trees.

I'm shown giving the opening remarks at the Chicken tree removal event in Palmetto Island State Park. I spoke on the history of the Abbeville Red iris and its discovery.   I also explained why the display of these irises at the park's boardwalk is so important to so many people, literally from around the world. It is a place to see this rare species of Louisiana iris in bloom. Photo by Henry Cancienne.

The September 9th event was co-hosted by Palmetto Island State Park and the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI), with the Friends of Palmetto Island State Park, Inc. sponsoring the event by supplying snacks, drinks, and sandwiches. In the days leading up to September 9th, it became a community-wide event with volunteers signing up from a Scout Troop in Lafayette, Abbeville Rotary Club, Abbeville Garden Club, Vermilion ARCH 4-H club - including some of the parents, Friends of Palmetto Island State Park, Inc., volunteers from people staying at the park, and LICI's volunteers. Approximately 50 volunteers showed up for the event.

The swamp was dry due to the extreme drought the area has been experiencing. Dry conditions made it easier for the volunteers to get around and do the work. 

 Volunteers begin work at the Palmetto Island State Park boardwalk swamp at the September 9 Chicken tree removal event. Photo by Henry Cancienne.

The park manager, Andrea Jones, was very supportive of the effort. She lined up many of the volunteers, allowed her staff to help deliver, set up, and take down everything needed for the event at the boardwalk base station, and allowed the group to use the nearby meeting room building and its porch.

 Two volunteers are shown with loopers and the flagging used to mark each Chicken tree.

Small red flags were set next to each Chicken tree so the volunteers would not need to determine which trees in the swamp needed to be cut down. Then, volunteers with either tree limb loopers or a chainsaw would cut the trees down. The cut trees were hauled to the swamp's edge and left to rot among the palmettos. A few volunteers then squirt each tree stump with an herbicide to kill the roots. They would collect each red flag as they were finished. Most trees ranged in size from twenty feet tall or less with a 1" to 1 1/2" diameter trunk.

Stewart Broussard, president of the Friends of Palmetto Island State Park, Inc., is seen here working with the other volunteers to clear out Chicken trees during the event.

As a way to add a festive feeling to the event, a local aspiring singer/songwriter, Brody Lemaire, along with his singer and percussionist sister, Zoey Lemaire, offered to donate their time to come out and play for the other volunteers as they worked. Their playing and singing were a wonderful background for the groups working out in the swamp.

Volunteers at work removing Chicken trees during the September 9 event.

At the end of the event, I told the group, "I have no idea how many Chicken trees were pulled up or cut down, but it was a lot! When the Abbeville Red irises we will be planting this winter bloom throughout the swamp at the boardwalk next spring, everyone will have a clear view of the show, thanks to the work y'all did here today."

This is the final "Goodbye" group photo of most volunteers and park staff participating in the Chinese tallow tree removal volunteer event at Palmetto Island State Park boardwalk swamp on September 9, 2023. Photo by Henry Cancienne.

One last video to show the iris spirit of the volunteers!!

Monday, October 23, 2023

A Step into the Past of Iris Lore: Sydney B. Mitchell

By Bryce Williamson

While recently researching a judges’ training program, I found myself reflecting on how some of the important iris personalities of the past have faded from the conversation even though they played critical roles. Then, at Region 14’s 2023 fall meeting, Joe Ghio talked about “In the beginning…” Joe’s comments caused my mind to recall the contributions of Sydney B. Mitchell. His work is significant for three reasons; any of them would have ensured his place in iris lore.

First, Mitchell saved and introduced the Mohr irises after William Mohr’s early death in a car accident. The Mohr-Mitchell iris "San Francisco" went on to become the first American Dykes Medal winner.

'San Francisco' (Mohr, 1927)

Second, Lloyd Austin is often considered the father of space-age irises. Yet Mitchell’s plicata breeding played an important role in their development. Lloyd saw potential in a Mitchell plicata seedling (later introduced as ‘Advanced Guard’) and from that iris produced the world’s first horned iris: ‘Unicorn.’

'Advance Guard' (Mitchell, 1945)

'Unicorn' (Austin, 1954)

Finally, Sydney B. Mitchell loved Pacific Coast Native (PCN) irises and promoted them. Part of Sydney’s promotion effort was sending seeds around the world. Seeds sent to the United Kingdom would grow to become the foundation of PCN’s adapted to the English climate and ultimately Marjorie Brummitt's ‘No Name,’ winner of the British Dykes Medal in 1976.

'No Name' (Brummitt, 1973)

From Mitchell PCN seeds sent to Australia Hargreaves produced lovely seedlings, though none of these were named introductions. Later, Stanley Lott, Heidi Blyth, and John Taylor would carry on the Australian line for PCN irises and produced some lovely flowers.

European Mist’ (Heidi Blyth, 2009/2010)

Hargreaves seed made its way back to the United States, and a red seedling was widely crossed by Joe Ghio as one of the foundation parents of his lovely PCIs. Of course, Joe Ghio also has access to seed from Jack Craig who most likely obtained seed directly from Mitchell.

Red Light District’ (Ghio, 2015)
Going Bananas’ (Ghio, 2010)

Sidney B. Mitchell received the AIS Hybridizers Medal in 1941. The American Iris Society's medal for PCN irises is named for him, and rightly so. His book Iris for Every Garden helped the popularity of all types of irises and its chapter on hybridizing inspired a new generation of hybridizers.

The influence of Mitchell lives on today in modern tall bearded hybridizing and Pacific Coast Native irises.