AIS Awards full award listings for each year are available from 1999 to current
AIS Awards Overview and History interesting history on the origins of each of the major AIS awards
Popularity Awards includes President’s Cup/Franklin Cook Memorial Cup/Ben R. Hager Cup/Fred and Barbara Walther Cup
Awards Ballot Info – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no AIS award balloting in 2020.
Tall Bearded Iris Symposium – 2021 ballot is now posted – Symposium deadline extended to September 15, 2021
Each year AIS accredited judges vote for a variety of awards for irises. Currently, official garden awards for the American Iris Society have been established for the following 15 classifications of irises:
Full information on the various medal and award winners from recent years are provided in the annual listings below.
Click here to go to the 2019 AIS Awards (PDF File)
Click here to go to the 2018 AIS Awards (PDF File)
Click here to go to the 2017 AIS Awards (PDF File)
Click here to go to the 2016 AIS Awards (PDF file)
Click here to go to the 2015 AIS Awards(PDF 247k)
Click here to go to the 2014 AIS Awards (PDF 119k)
Click here to go to the 2013 AIS Awards(PDF 119k)
Click here to go to the 2012 AIS Awards (PDF 132k)
Click here to go to the 2011 AIS Awards(PDF 194k)
Click here to go to the 2010 AIS Awards(PDF 221k)
Click here to go to the 2009 AIS Awards(PDF 72k)
Click here to go to the 2008 AIS Awards(PDF 89k)
Click here to go to the 2007 AIS Awards(PDF 116k)
Click here to go to the 2006 AIS Awards(PDF 113K)
Click here to go to the 2005 AIS Awards(PDF 69K)
Click here to go to the 2004 AIS Awards(PDF 131K)
Click here to go to the 2003 AIS Awards(PDF 112K)
Click here to go to the 2002 AIS Awards(PDF 126K)
Click here to go to the 2001 AIS Awards(PDF 122K)
Click here to go to the 2000 AIS Awards(PDF 126K)
Click here to go to the 1999 AIS Awards(PDF 106K)
Summary of medals and awards given by the American Iris Society:
Dykes Memorial Medal: First awarded in 1927, the Dykes Medal is the highest award of the AIS. Awarded to no more than one iris per year. Irises are eligible as a Dykes Medal candidate for three years following the winning of a classification medal. Only AIS registered judges may vote.
Medals: Each year there are medals awarded to irises of each specific classification type. This is the top award for each AIS iris classification type. Irises are eligible as a candidate for a medal the second year after they receive an Award of Merit (AM). One medal for each classification is given each year (except for the very popular tall bearded which awards 3 Wister Medals each year). Again, only AIS registered judges may vote. The following list details the different medals for the various iris classification types.
*Note: History info+winners list for each medal are a continual work in progress. All of the medal histories are in place below, balance of information updates follow ASAP as time allows and when the annual new medal winners listings are collected/supplied/made available. (CH November 2012)
Award of Merit (AM) awards are given to irises from each classification each year. Any iris is eligible the second year after previously winning an Honorable Mention (HM). Only AIS registered judges may vote.
Honorable Mention (HM) awards are awarded each year to irises of each classification. Registered bearded irises are eligible the second year after introduction. Registered beardless irises are eligible the third year after introduction. Only AIS registered judges may vote.
High Commendation (HC) awards are reserved for seedling irises, viewed in the garden by AIS judges, under seedling number or registered name, which have not been introduced into commerce yet. Any seedling of any established classification that receives five votes is granted an HC award. Only AIS registered judges may vote.
There are also a number of popularity awards. These awards are primarily voted on by AIS members (not necessarily AIS judges) at the annual AIS Convention. These awards include the President’s Cup, the Franklin Cook Memorial Cup, and the Ben R. Hager Cup. Every year at the AIS national convention, registered attendees (regardless of whether they are members of AIS) vote for irises to determine these awards. Additionally there is the Fred and Barbara Walther Cup determined by the AIS Awards Honorable Mention (HM) award balloting (AIS Judges only). The Lloyd Zurbrigg-Clarence Mahan Seedling Cup is provided for the best seedling viewed at the annual AIS Convention, voted by convention attendees.
The President’s Cup
The President’s Cup is awarded annually during the American Iris Society’s national convention. Best in AIS Region iris.
Eligibility is restricted to introduced irises originated within the host AIS Region for that year’s national convention or originated by a hybridizer whose garden is included on the convention’s official garden tour, regardless of its location. Irises must have been seen growing and in bloom in the convention’s official tour gardens, but need not be official guest irises. Each registrant may vote for one variety and the President’s Cup is awarded to the iris with the largest number of votes.
The Franklin Cook Memorial Cup
The Franklin Cook Memorial Cup is awarded annually during the American Iris Society’s national convention. Best out of AIS Region iris.
All introduced irises seen growing and in bloom in the official tour gardens of the convention are eligible for consideration for the Franklin Cook Memorial Cup, except irises originated within the host AIS Region for that year’s national convention by a hybridizer whose garden is included on the official garden tour, regardless of its location. The irises considered need not be official convention guest irises. Each registrant may vote for only one variety and the Franklin Cook Memorial Cup is awarded to the iris receiving the greatest number of votes.
This award was established by Dr. Franklin Cook during his time as AIS president in 1947 and was originally known as the President’s Cup. Then in 1952, it was renamed the Franklin Cook Memorial Cup. From 1947 through 1965, there were no restrictions concerning the geographical origination of irises eligible for the Franklin Cook Memorial Cup until 1966 when the current President’s Cup was established and first awarded.
Presidents Cup and Franklin Cook Cup winners listing (PDF file 98K)
The Ben R. Hager Cup
The Ben R. Hager Cup, first awarded in 2007, is awarded annually during the American Iris Society’s annual convention. Best Median iris.
All introduced median irises (SDB, IB, MTB and BB) seen growing and in bloom in the official tour gardens of the convention are eligible. Irises considered need not be official convention guest irises. Each registrant may vote for one median iris variety and the Ben R. Hager Cup is awarded to the median iris receiving the largest number of votes.
The award is named for Ben Hager of California who was one of the premier hybridizers in the American Iris Society and had the distinction of winning the top awards in every category that was possible at the time. Ben Hager was known primarily as a hybridizer of bearded irises, but worked with many of the different iris categories. Most iris growers identify him with his famous award-winning pinks, VANITY and BEVERLY SILLS, which make the tall bearded popularity poll each year. The winners of the Ben R. Hager Cup are shown below:
2019 Black Comedy IB (Paul Black)
2018 No award
2017 Chocolate Fountain MTB (Kenneth Fisher)
2016 Moose Tracks MTB (Lynda Miller) /convention: Newark, New Jersey
2015 Moose Tracks MTB (Lynda Miller) /convention: Portland, Oregon
2014 two-way tie: Bahama Blues IB (Michael Sutton), Bottled Sunshine IB (Hooker Nichols) /convention: Dallas, Texas
2013 Boy Genius BB (Joe Ghio)/convention: Dallas, Texas
2012 Man’s Best Friend IB (Paul Black) /convention: Ontario, California
2011 Dazzling IB (Paul Black) /convention: Victoria, British Columbia
2010 three-way tie: Dallas Mahan MTB (Clarence Mahan), Ruffled Rascal BB (Francis Rogers), Survivor MTB (Lynda Miller) /convention: Madison, Wisconsin
2009 Dividing Line MTB (Charles Bunnell) / convention: Kansas City, Missouri
2008 Crow’s Feet BB (Paul Black) / convention: Austin, Texas
2007 Dividing Line MTB (Charles Bunnell) / convention: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Fred and Barbara Walther Cup
Awarded annually by The American Iris Society to the originator of the iris variety that received the greatest number of votes in the Honorable Mention (HM) award balloting, regardless of classification. All classifications of irises are eligible. Only AIS registered judges may vote for this award.
2019 Perry Dyer OGB- (Paul Black)
2018 Black Lipstick TB (Keith Keppel)
2017 Moose Tracks MTB (Lynda Miller)
2016 Good Morning Sunshine TB (Thomas Johnson)
2015 Desert Snow AB (Paul Black)
2014 Holiday in Mexico MTB (Riley Probst)
2013 JUDY JUDY JUDY SIB (Hollingworth)
2012 GINGER TWIST SIB (Schafer and Sacks)
2011 STAR IN THE NIGHT IB (Paul Black)
2010 EYE OF THE TIGER SDB (Paul Black)
2009 BUNDLE OF LOVE BB (Paul Black)
2008 BLUEBEARD’S GHOST SDB (Paul Black)
2007 FLORENTINE SILK TB (Keith Keppel)
2006 DECADENCE TB (Barry Blyth)
2005 PAUL BLACK TB (Tom Johnson)
2004 CAT’S EYE SDB (Paul Black)
2003 DELIRIUM IB (Marky Smith)
2002 HAPPENSTANCE TB (Keith Keppel)
2001 STARWOMAN, IB (Marky Smith)
2000 MIDNIGHT OIL TB (Keith Keppel)
1999 DIABOLIQUE TB (Schreiner)
1998 PROTOCOL IB (Keith Keppel)
1997 FANCY WOMAN TB (Keith Keppel)
1996 FEATURE ATTRACTION TB (Schreiner)
Lloyd Zurbrigg-Clarence Mahan Seedling Cup
This award is provided for the best iris seedling viewed at the annual AIS Convention, voted by attendees. Presented by AIS Region 4 in honor of two of its distinguished members; Lloyd Zurbrigg, a noted hybridizer of reblooming irises and Clarence Mahan, a hybridizer and a past president of the AIS. It was first awarded in 2014 at the Dallas, Texas AIS Convention. Notably different from other AIS awards, the recipent retains the award as a new award cup is donated each year.
2019 Nichols 1978 TB (Hooker Nichols)
2018 Dufrene 4-22-14 LA (Cindy Dufrne)
2017 ADG 11-02-04 (Howard Dash)
2016 Seedling 2013-1 TB (Bonnie J. Nichols)
2015 Royston Rubies TB (Adam Cordes)/convention: Portland, Oregon
2014 Seedling 08-6-10 TB (A. Pyburn)/convention: Dallas, Texas
Due to COVID-19 there will be no Awards Ballot in 2020.
This is a very unfortunate situation for all—hybridizers, commercial gardens, judges, and the iris-buying public. But with travel restrictions in place many judges were not able to make any garden visits whatsoever, and the AIS Board of Directors felt that it had no choice but to cancel.
In setting up the ballot for upcoming years, the goal will be to try to give every iris the same chance of winning an award that it would have had if there had been a vote in 2020. Iris in each class and award level will still be on the ballot for three years, just as before. For Honorable Mention and Award of Merit, 10% of the candidates will still win, just as before. This means that four years of introductions will be on the HM ballot for a few years. Details for the complete intended scheme for the ballot are given in the PDF linked below, but here is a small example: in the 2021 ballot the HM candidates will be bearded iris introduced in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016; and beardless iris introduced in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015.
The complete plan for the ballot is available here: 2021 Ballot Considerations.
When available, the 2021 proposed ballot will be posted here. The purpose of posting the proposed AIS Awards Ballot online is to give people (AIS judges and hybridizers) the chance to review the listing and provide input before the official AIS Awards Ballot is finalized and sent out for voting.
Any questions or comments should be sent to the AIS Awards Chair:
Michael Reed e-mail: email@example.com
phone: 214-418-3208 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This ballot may not be used for official voting. Only the final version of the Official AIS Awards Ballot provided to the AIS Judges may be used for voting. See instructions below.
Failure to vote the Official Ballot in a timely manner for two consecutive years results in automatic
disqualification as an AIS judge. If for any reason it is not possible for you to vote this year, state so on the ballot and return the ballot by the deadline to the Awards Chair: Michael Reed
ONLINE VOTING INSTRUCTIONS:
Detailed instructions will be on the voting website at www.voteirises.org by May 1. If
you voted online last year or submitted an e-mail address on your paper ballot, an e-mail will be sent to that address when the system is available. Please go to the website and give it a try. We are available for you, if help is needed, but the system is easy and error-free! You may enter the voting system multiple times, tweaking votes or completing different sections. You may even have a copy of your votes emailed to you!
PAPER BALLOT INSTRUCTIONS:
1. The ballot must be postmarked no later than August 1, 2021, to be counted. If it is postmarked by August 1 but received after August 10 the votes will not count, but you will receive credit for having voted. There is no special deadline for Japanese irises.
2. You must provide your name, address, e-mail, and region. Please sign and date.
3. Mark your ballot clearly by either of two methods: use a contrasting color (blue, red, green, purple) ink pen and place an X clearly beside the name of the iris or use a Highlighter to highlight the iris name. Do not use a pencil! Make your votes obvious and easy to find!
4. Enter the total number of votes cast in a category in the BOX beside the name of the category. Do not exceed the total number of votes allowed in each category, which is indicated in each section. If you exceed this number, your votes in that section will not be counted. You may always vote for fewer than the maximum and skip a category with which you are unfamiliar or do not have an opinion.
5. If you choose to skip a category, please put a 0 in the box.
6. Add correct postage to the pre-addressed return envelope. Postmark by deadline!
The award winners will be posted on the AIS website, www.irises.org , as soon as tabulation is
completed, and published in the October Bulletin.
All AIS accredited Judges are required to vote the Ballot. Only accredited judges may vote the ballot. The Judges are evaluating the performance of those irises seen growing in the GARDEN, not in shows or photos.
All iris that are registered and first introduced (offered for sale) in North America are included in the Honorable Mention (HM) categories of each classification. Bearded iris are placed on the ballot the second year after introduction; beardless irises are placed on the ballot the third year after introduction. They remain eligible for the award and on the ballot for three years or until they are awarded the HM. One year after an iris is awarded the HM it is placed in the Award of Merit (AM) category, where they remain for up to three years. One year after an iris is awarded the AM it is placed on the ballot under their respective Special Medal award sections, remaining for up to three years. Winners in the Medal categories that were originated in North America move up the following year to compete for the Dykes Medal, the American Iris Society’s highest award. Candidates remain eligible for the Dykes medal for up to three years.
The symposium is an annual popularity poll of Tall Bearded (TB) iris conducted by the AIS. All AIS members may vote in this symposium. The top 100 Tall Bearded iris are then ranked and the results of the symposium each year are published in the official publication of the AIS, the AIS Bulletin, usually within the January issue. All AIS members receive this quarterly publication as part of their AIS membership. For detailed information on AIS membership please go to the AIS Membership area of the website. The full Symposia results are also published here on the AIS website.
The 2021 edition of the TB Symposium ballot is now available, you may proceed to place your votes until the deadlines detailed in the instructions below. The list of iris eligible for the Tall Bearded Symposium is only available online.
The list is available here as a downloadable PDF file which you may review and print if required. (please follow the link below the voting instructions)
This is the 2021edition of the Tall Bearded Iris Symposium of the American Iris
The list of candidates was completed by combining the following lists of outstanding varieties:
The 100 top varieties in last year’s Symposium
The tall bearded irises eligible for last year’s Dykes Medal
The tall bearded irises eligible for last year’s Wister Medal
The tall bearded irises eligible for last year’s Awards of Merit
The tall bearded irises that won the year before last year’s Awards of Merit
The tall bearded irises that won the year before last year’s Honorable Mentions
Every member of The American Iris Society may participate in this balloting of the irises listed on the following pages. Each member is allowed twenty-five (25) votes. Please follow the instructions below:
1. Voting may be accomplished in a variety of ways:
a. You may mail your RVP a list of the iris you are voting for, either names and numbers, or just numbers.
b. You can download the list from the AIS web site (www.irises.org), print it, mark it up, and mail it. (see the link to the ballot below)
c. Most RVP’s have email, and those who do will accept any of the above formats that way, too.
2. No member may vote for more than twenty-five varieties. You may vote for fewer than twenty-five if you wish. Write-in votes are not allowed and will not be tabulated.
3. Your ballot must be mailed to and received by your Regional Vice President by
September 15, 2021 in order to be counted. The name of your RVP is listed inside each AIS Bulletin and can be found here. Sign your ballot and mail it first class.
4. Overseas Members may vote by mailing their ballot to the Symposium Committee Chairman whose name, email, and address appear inside each AIS Bulletin. It is advisable to send by Air Mail to assure receipt of your Ballot by September 15, 2021. Ballots received later will be counted if at all possible, so please vote even if you can not meet that date. Email is an acceptable alternative (either numbers-only, or numbers and names), and a representative in each foreign country can tally that country’s votes and send the totals and voters to the Symposium Chair by email or mail.
Follow this link to the AIS 2021 Symposium Ballot (Adobe PDF file)
The above file is provided as a downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF type file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file. *What is Adobe Acrobat Reader? It is free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files on all major hardware and operating system platforms. If you need or want to get the Adobe Acrobat Reader program use this link. It is a very useful add on program that many people already have installed on their computer. Click here to get Adobe Acrobat.
Results of the AIS Tall Bearded Symposia 2007 on:
The results provided here are for your reference use and enjoyment.
Follow the links below to the detail results of recent AIS Tall Bearded Symposiums:
2020 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2020 voting) (PDF file)
2019 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2019 voting) (PDF file)
2018 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2018 voting) (PDF file)
2017 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2017 voting) (PDF file)
2016 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2016 voting) (PDF file)
2015 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2015 voting) (PDF file)
2014 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2014 voting) (PDF file)
2013 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2013 voting) (268KB PDF file)
2012 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2012 voting) (64KB PDF file)
2011 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2011 voting) (52KB PDF file)
*2010 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2010 voting) (80KB PDF file)
2010 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2009 voting) (58KB PDF file
2009 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2008 voting) (28KB PDF file)
2008 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2007 voting) (27KB PDF file)
2007 AIS Tall Bearded Symposium results (2006 voting) (27KB PDF file)
Most, if not all, of these irises are available to purchase through the commercial vendors listed in the Commercial Directory Listing area of the AIS website. They are not likely to be available from your local garden center.
*Please note: The naming convention(s) used for the Symposia ballots and reports have changed several times in the history of the Symposia. In the recent past the Symposia reports have been named for the year in which they were issued (the year after the voting). This caused some confusion. Starting in 2010 the results will be named for the year in which the voting occurs, thus the results of the AIS Awards and the results of the Symposia will carry the same year designation. This will result in there being two reports that are designated as 2010. The first, the results of the 2009 voting, and the second, the results of the 2010 voting.