Hybridizer Paul Cook --(1891-1963)

Paul Cook Paul Cook, one of the great hybridizers of the iris world, died suddenly in Indiana in November, 1963. His work on irises, planned with care and vision, achieved remarkable success in his lifetime, but the full benefit of that work will probably not be felt for some years to come. He experimented, he ventured, at times he failed; but in the end he was able to open up fresh fields in which his friends and successors can, in their turn, strive for still further improvement of the genus iris.
....Although he worked with various sections of the iris family, Paul Cook will perhaps be best remembered for his work in three directions-amongst the dwarfs, in black tall beardeds, and in the group of tall bearded amoenas made famous by 'Whole Cloth'. In an appreciation which must of necessity be brief, it is not possible to list and describe all his introductions, but mention must be made of a few of the leading ones.
....Growers of dwarfs will remember such beauties as 'Fairy Flax', the azure blue, and 'Green Spot' which has been so widely used as a parent and has produced such a wonderful range of seedlings. Among the so-called black irises Paul Cook gave us 'Sable', 'Sable Night' and others of equal merit in their day. But his most dramatic piece of work was when he raised 'Progenitor', a poor looking seedling which many of us would have destroyed at first sight but which he had the genius to realise would have great possibilities in breeding. From that indifferent seedling he eventually raised 'Melodrama', 'Whole Cloth', 'Miss Indiana' and others of immense worth; but then he left that avenue and started on another in the hope of raising irises with yellow standards and blue falls. I once asked him why he had not continued with the 'Whole Cloth' series, to which he replied, with a twinkle in his eye, that as they had been widely distributed the competition would be far too hot for him. Certain it is, that variations of and improvements on MELODRAMA and WHOLE CLOTH are now appearing in different countries and the possibility of further experiment and improvement is immense.
....The Dykes Medal has been awarded three times to irises raised by Paul Cook-to SABLE NIGHT in 1955, to WHOLE CLOTH in 1962 and to ALLEGIANCE in 1964. ln a letter written to me shortly before his death he expressed the view that ALLEGIANCE was probably the finest iris he ever raised, and in that view I ventured to concur.
....As a man Paul Cook was modest, friendly and generous, widely read, with a keen sense of humour and a profound knowledge of genetics. Had he lived in a great city, with opportunities for entering big business, he might easily have risen to a position of wealth and power; and then he might never have grown irises. But he lived in a rural community and was far more interested in his home and his books, his garden and his irises than in the acquisition of money. He had a wide circle of friends in different countries, including Britain, and he loved to correspond with them and to see them, particularly in iris time, so that he could discuss their achievements and his own. ln conversation with him in his home and through letters I found him a delightful personality, and I am glad to pay this tribute to him on behalf of iris growers in Britain. ....................H.J.R. He introduced through Longfield Iris Farms

Received The American Iris Society Hybridizer Award in 1945.

Registrations/Introductions:

Arilbred: 'Hoogpum Blue', 'Hoogpum Purple'.

Border Bearded: 'Night Time'.

Intermediate Bearded: 'Fairy Flax, ' 'Florinda', 'Kiss Me Kate', 'Progenitor'.

Minature Dwarf Bearded: 'Alinda', 'Blue Band', 'Blue Lilt', 'Inchalong', 'Keepsake', 'Promise', 'Remnant', 'Sky Patch', 'Stint', 'Tampa', 'Violet Gem'.

Species Hybrids: 'Hoogpum Blue', 'Hoogpum Purple'.

Miniature Tall Bearded: 'Ring Bearer'.

Standard Dwarf Bearded: 'Baria'. 'Brite', 'Fairy Flax', 'Green Spot'.

Tall Bearded: 'Action Front' 1942, 'Allegiance', 'Anna Williamson' 1946, 'Azure Dome' 1967, 'Blue Answer' R.1958, 'Captain Wells' 1941, 'Compliment' 1963, 'Congeniality' 1961, 'Copper Rose' 1941, 'Dark Boatman' 1954, 'Deep Black' 1955, 'Distance' 1946, 'Dreamcastle' 1943,' 'E. B. Williamson' 1937, 'Ecstatic Night' 1963, 'Emma Cook' 1959, 'Fancy Free' R.1937, 'Flamely' 1942, 'Harriet Thoreau' 1944, 'Indiana Night' 1942, 'Lancaster' 1940, 'Majenica' 1941, 'Manifesto' R.1955, 'Melodrama' 1956, 'Miss Indiana' 1961, 'Morning Bright' 1951, 'Pink Bountiful' 1949, 'Pink Reflection' 1942, 'Pretender' 1951, 'Prettyfield' 1959, 'Quiet Night' 1968, 'Quiet Sky' 1964, 'Redward' 1942, 'Relentless' 1948, 'Sable' 1938, 'Sable Night' 1952, 'Sable Robe' 1966, 'Salamonie' 1946, 'Sky Above' 1952, 'Space Master' 1967, 'Superlation' 1962, 'Three Cheers' 1945, 'Toll Gate' 1959, 'Tranquil Moon' 1948, 'Whole Cloth' 1958, 'Wide World' 1954, 'Wonderment' 1958, 'Worthington'.
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Paul_Cook.jpgjpg Paul_Cook.jpg manage 29 K 11 Jan 2011 - 15:48 UnknownUser Courtesy of Mike Lowe from original HIPS website
Topic revision: r17 - 03 Oct 2016, Betsy881
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