Trails End Iris Gardens, Ontario, Canada

Iris Awards Criteria

Each year, the American Iris Society (AIS) and its qualified, registered judges make specific awards to Iris varieties. These awards are a very useful tool in selecting Iris that have the best growing qualities, ie., flower form, colour, # of buds, branching, substance, etc.

Since Award winners typically set the standards for Irises, they form the basis of the varieties that we select to grow and offer to our customers.

We have listed the awards won by each variety in our descriptions. Here is an example:

Gypsy Lord (K. Keppel '06), ML (TB) 40", (102cm), HM '07, AM '09, JW '11, DM '12 means Gypsy Lord was hybridized by Keith Keppel and introduced for sale to the public in 2006. It blooms in the Mid to Late (ML), Tall Bearded (TB) bloom season and is typically 40 inches, (102 centimetres) tall. It received an Honourable Mention Award (HM) in 2008, an Award of Merit (AM) in 2010, a Wister Medal (JW) in 2012 and finally the American Dykes Medal (DM) in 2015.

Remember the newer varieties may still achieve Dykes Medal (DM) status over the next few years. Try your luck in selecting the best for your garden.

Honourable Mention (HM)
Several of these awards are given each year to Irises from each class. An Iris must first be registered with the AIS and it becomes eligible for an HM the second year after being introduced to the marketplace.

Walther Cup (WC)
This special award goes to one iris that receives the greatest number of votes in the HM balloting regardless of classification. It is a strong indicator of awards to come. The 2015 winner was
Desert Snow, (P. Black '13) and the 2016 winner was Good Morning Sunshine, (T. Johnson '14).

Award of Merit (AM)
A few of these awards are given each year to Irises from each class. An Iris is eligible for an AM the second year after winning an Honourable Mention (HM) award.

Class Winner Medals:
In addition to HM and AM awards, the best Iris in each class may also win one of the following:
Best Miniature Dwarf Bearded Iris Caperne-Welch medal (CW)
Best Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris Cook-Douglas medal (CD)
Best Intermediate Bearded Iris Hans and Jacob Sass medal (SM)
Best Miniature Tall Bearded Iris Williamson–White medal (WW)
Best Border Bearded Iris Knowlton Medal (KM)
Best Tall Bearded Iris (3 per year) John C. Wister medal (JW)

Dykes Memorial Medal (DM)
The Dykes Medal is the highest medal awarded. Only one Iris per year receives this medal, which is open to an Iris from any classification starting two years after an Iris wins the top medal for it’s specific class. A Tall Bearded iris is eligible the year after it receives a Wister Medal (JW). An Iris can compete for 3 years.
The 2018 Dykes Medal winner was a Tall Bearded variety, Haunted Heart, (K. Keppel '09).

Dykes Medal Winners that we grow: Visitors can enjoy many of these wonderful Dykes Medal winners featured throughout our gardens.