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Founders Of Signa Medal

Founders Of SIGNA Medal

History by Clarence Mahan ….................................................related links; Awards; 2015 Founders of SIGNA Medal Candidates.

This medal is restricted to species irises (SPEC) and is named to honor the founding members of the Species Iris Group of North American (SIGNA).

The first issue of SIGNA, published in April 1968, lists forty charter members of the Species Iris Group of North America. The first organization meeting was held in May 1966. Roy Davidson was subsequently elected chairman of the new group and Betty Rowe was elected secretary/treasurer. Bruce Richardson became the first editor; Thomas J. Buckley was designated librarian; and Ruth Hardy agreed to take on duties as seed exchange director.

One of the first acts of the new group was to publish the Species Iris Study Manual. The success of the organization in its formative years was to a considerable degree the result of the leadership skills of Roy Davidson and the editorial work of Bruce Richardson.

Addendum by R.Pries

Around 1990 there was considerable discusion concerning the AIS awards system. Some felt that tall-bearded Irises were not represented commensurate with their great numbers. At the same time the Judges Handbook had chapters on all types of Irises, including species. But there were no awards for species so garden judging species was superfluous. Members of SIGNA felt that certainly there was enough variation within most species that choosing the best varieties for the garden merited attention. The president of SIGNA, Colin Rigby assigned Robert Pries to chair a blue ribbon panel to decide how to go about creating a garden award for Species and/or Species hybrids. Members of the panel included Ben Hager, Currier McEwen, and Francesca Thoolan. They came up with the recommendation for two awards, The Founders of SIGNA Medal and the Randolph-Perry Medal for Species Crosses.

The recommendation came to the board in 1992 at the same time as the complete revision of the awards system was taking place. These two awards completed the system in that no Iris was left out of the system by not being included in a classification. The Tall-bearded Irises were provided 3 Wister Medals and most people felt the system had become more complete and fairly balanced. The Species award and the Species Cross award covered all irises but hybridizers were asked to choose between one of these or one of the pre-existing classes based on what they felt best represented the iris. For example a collected variation of a japanese iris would most likely be put into the Species class but technically all Japanese Irises are the species Iris ensata and theoretically could have been included in the Japanese class if it seemed advanced for its species.

List of Founders of SIGNA Medal winners - Species (SPEC) Irises:
‘More Raspberries Please’
2023 - Rita Butler
'All Stripes'
2022 - Marty Schafer/Jan Sacks
'Blue Rivulets'
2021 - Chad Harris
2021 - Jill Copeland
'Lakeside Ghost'
2019 - Chad Harris
'Wildwood Willie'
2018 - Michael Iler by Will Plotner
'Ruth Wilder'
2017 - Walter Hoover by Randell Bowen
'Dick Redfield'
2016 - Marty Schafer/Jan Sacks
'Jin Yu'
2015 - Jill Copeland
‘Caitlins Smile'
2014 – James Waddick by Kevin Morley
Caitlins Smile
2013 - James Waddick
'Z Z Zanzibar'
2012 - Brad Kasperek
Z Z Zanzibar
2011 - Jill Copeland
'Raspberry Slurp'
2010 - Rita Butler
Raspberry Slurp
'Petit Lion'
2009 - Lowell Baumunk
Petit Lion
2008 - Jill Copeland
'Bayou Bandit'
2007 - Jeff Weeks
Bayou Bandit
'John Wood'
2006 - Lineberger
John Wood
'Powder Blue Giant'
2005 - Sam Norris
Powder Blue Giant
'China West Lake'
2004 - Jim Waddick
China West Lake
'Marvel Gold'
2003 - Jim Waddick
Marvel Gold
2002 - Bee Warburton
'Between The Lines'
2001 - Schafer-Sacks
Between The Lines
'Dotted Line'
2000 - Lorena Reid
Dotted Line


-- Main.RPries - 2009-12-24
Topic revision: r31 - 19 Aug 2023, WayneMesser
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