(1920) The Proposed American Iris Society by G. Sturtevant
The Flower Grower, p.4, January 1920
A Proposed American Iris Society
Dr. H. A. Gleason of the New York Botanical Garden, recently wrote us concerning the formation of an Iris Society, stating that there was an opportunity there for co-operation in planting complete Trial Grounds. A preliminary notice signed by Lee R. Bonnewitz, James Boyd, Grace Sturtevant, B.Y. Morrison, and John Wister, has been sent out and with Dr. Gleason as Secretary pro tem. Further notice will be sent out to all interested, calling for a meeting for organization at the New York Botanical Garden, Jan. 29, 1920. It is hoped that many will respond and that the developed society will prove of value to everyone that has a garden.
Within the last decade there has been a flood of new Irises from the hands of breeders both in this country and abroad and a corresponding increase in the general interest. It is high time that some central body should gather together information on Iris matters whether it is the history of our garden favorites, the records of our present varieties, or the opportunities for the future. Our catalogues are filled with named varieties, old forms stand cheek by jowl with new, and who, as an individual, can tell which is worthwhile for his small garden? Many varieties both old and new, should be thrown into the discard and what but an association may do this without prejudice and authority?
Many are the lines of research and development ahead; botany, history, culture as advised for different localities, pests, and a classification based on color for identification, and use of special varieties; a test garden for comparison and judging, exhibition gardens to show the best in proper use, premiums that will make an Iris show a necessity for any Garden Club or Horticultural Society and finally authoritative information suited to our individual needs. By collections of books, lectures, and lantern slides for loaning, by timely articles and notes, by personal enthusiasm and by word of mouth lets us bring to the veriest amateur with his bit of garden the appreciation of Irises, in their ease of culture, their wealth of bloom, and glory of color. Each of you who has grown the Iris has at sometime undoubtedly wished for advice or friendly interest, let us know through Dr. Gleason these needs and possibilities not only that the Society may fulfill them, but that you may share as well in its results. There is a pleasure in riding a hobby but how many of you know the added pleasure of comparing notes with many others of like interest? That is the crowning pleasure. Grace Sturtevant.
For more information on historic Irises visit the Historic Iris Preservation Society at