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Hybridizer Charles E. F. Gersdorff (1885-1968)

1825 N. Capitol St. Washington, D. C. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Breeder of Gladiolus, Iris and other plants. Compiler, "Official List of Roses Introduced in America 1922." Associate Editor, American Gladiolus Society Bulletin and later Review, 1924-1931. Vice-President, American Gladiolus Society 1927--date (1939). Registrar, American Iris Society from its inception thru 1939. Author, many articles on Protein Chemistry and Horticulture. He raised a number of irises that were just being introduced in 1939.

Charles E. F. Gersdorff was an important figure in the early days of the American Iris Society in helping John Wister and Bob Sturtevant getting the new organization properly started. His passing will bring back memories to our senior members. One of the purposes of the Society was to end confusion and mixups in the various clones of irises, to get iris names straightened out and to keep them straight. This was where Charlie Gersdorff was of great help.

He was introduced to the Society as Registrar in Bulletin Number 22 appearing in January 1927. This contained a list of introductions and registrations for 1926, supposedly bringing these up to date. Members were requested "to notify Charles E. F. Gersdorf, 1825 North Capitol Street, Washington, D. C., of any errors or omissions." His duties and this address did not change for many years. Like many others who are active in horticultural affairs, Charlie Gersdorff worked for the United States Department of Agriculture. He had some previous experience with the classification of flowers with the Rose Society, and he was an officer of the Gladiolus Society.

His contribution to the Iris Society as its first Registrar was invaluable. The position required industry in research, meticulous attention to detail, firmness, fairness, and promptness in answering correspondence. In the early days, growers often named irises without bothering to register them, and Charlie ran these down and got them registered, if possible. For a number of years also variants and misspelled names were listed. Charlie was a great help to Mrs. Anson Peckham in preparing the Society's first really complete Check List that of 1939. He set an example for subsequent registrars which has kept their very important work dependable and complete. Without proper registration we would have chaos.

Charlie Gersdorff was reasonable in his rules, which he originally made himself, and in awarding names or releasing those he considered obsolete. He also compiled lists of possible names which were printed in the Bulletin. He had an especial interest in iris fragrance and spent a lot of time trying to get the perfume of different irises classified and registered. It was an elusive goal.

In 1949, mainly as a means of control over the number of irises registered, the directors decided to charge a fee for registration. Charles did not care for this. He hated to see a service that he had furnished free for nearly a quarter of a century charged for. This had something to do with his resignation though this was not the only cause. He left in a spirit of good feeling and with the respect of all.

Charles Gersdorf grew irises and raised seedlings himself, though under great difficulty. His ground in Washington was very small and he had to depend a good deal on what he called his "roof garden", big boxes of earth on the roof in which he grew irises. He named quite a number of seedlings. Most of his originations were short, tall bearded that he called bedding irises, but which he would now term border irises. Charles at times during iris season came to Nashville more than once and occasionally wrote reports for the Bulletin. He attended annual meetings rather regularly during his active years. He enjoyed the social occasion, the dinners and picnics, where he was a good trencherman. He also enjoyed the gardens where he was a very good iris judge. [Bulletin of the American Iris Society, July 1968.]

Registrations/Introductions:

Arilbred: 'Baby Blue', 'Fallen Leaf', 'Salerosa'.

Intermediate Bearded: 'Adagio', 'Arzilio', 'Asta', 'Azita', 'Babe', 'Ballad, 'Bawani', 'Black Velvet', 'Blithe', 'Chicadee', 'Chilotta', 'Finch', 'Gretel', 'Grimalkin', 'Heart Balm', 'Hervala', 'Hideyo', 'Lark', 'Lassie', 'Ledo', 'Liolele', 'Little Cleora', 'Naia', 'Nikita', 'Opalescent', 'Orienta', 'Royal Baby', 'Royal Prince', 'Sherabina', 'Tang Wang', 'Tsi Lo Lan', 'Valdina', 'Vigo', 'Wee Princess', 'Yasmela', 'Zita'.

Japanese: 'Onatiora'.

Minature Dwarf Bearded: 'Carla', 'Gay Lass', 'Ilona', 'Little Mascot', 'Loana', 'Malolo', 'Matuli', 'Roseto', 'Ulmer', 'Vitonina', 'Zelia'.

Siberian: 'Aethra', 'Aibonita', 'Alemene', 'Andereya', 'Aorangi', 'Awosting', 'Azure Darkness', 'Bareena', 'Bendis', 'Blue Cup', 'Damaris', 'Dark Dawn', 'Dark Loveliness', 'Dorina', 'Early Bird', 'Gahano', 'Ilia', 'Imberbe', 'Indian Princess', 'Kalola', 'Kangrey', 'Karomensis', 'Kembyo', 'Khansa', 'Lalasa', 'Lalua', 'Lolona', 'Mountain Lake', 'Mystic Moon', 'Night Sprite', 'Niova', 'Pomona', 'Ranya', 'Royal Amethyst', 'Silvery Sky', 'Skyblue Water', 'Tai-O-Wa', 'Talani', 'Tambuga', 'Tascala', 'Thunder Bird', 'Thuner Sea', 'Tlaya', 'Tuccia', 'Ullswater', 'Violet Star', 'White Spray'.

Spuria: 'Copa D'Ora'.

Tall Bearded (A-F): 'Achernar', 'Adagio', 'Adelaide Smith', 'Adorable', 'Agape', 'Age Old Charm', 'Al Ared', 'Albedo', 'Albert Gersdorff', 'Alice Marie', 'Allaglow', 'Al Mansur', 'Alosaka', 'Alseides' 'Amabilita', 'Amethystine', 'Ananke', 'Andaste', 'Animato', 'Anita Carmack', 'Anita Marie', 'Anita Mia', 'Anita Wadsworth', 'Anodyne', 'Antique Copper', 'Araminta Howell', 'Argosy', 'Arietta', 'Artisan', 'Asta', 'Azalia', 'Babys Breath', 'Bairam', 'Bashful Miss', 'Bertha Carmack', 'Bertha Dorothea', 'Bertha Gersdorff', 'Bill Reitz', 'Black Boy', 'Blaze Crest', 'Blonde Bomber', 'Blonde Lady', 'Blue Acres', 'Blue Mist', 'Blue Pearl', 'Blue Prelude', 'Blue Princess', 'Blushing Innocence', 'Blushing Nymph', 'Bogatyr', 'Bolero', 'Bootsie', 'Brenda', 'Bright Bird', 'Bright Flame', 'Bright Sunrise', 'Buena Amiga', 'Bueno', 'Canary Warbler', 'Cara Mia', 'Caraya', 'Cardelino', 'Carinosa', 'Corita', 'Carl Ludwig', 'Cecilie Eleanor', 'Chagan', 'Changeling', 'Charles Lynch', 'Charles Spiess', 'Chartreuse Gown', 'Chaste Morn', 'Chenango', 'Ch'enyaun', 'Cherie', 'Chief Old Man', 'Chikisin', 'Ching-Ling', 'Cinnamon Spice', 'Cleo Ann', 'Clouds At Dusk', 'Clymene', 'Copper Dawn', 'Cottage Maid', 'Cream Blushed', 'Cream Puff', 'Crepe of Gold', 'Crown Glory', 'Dancing Sprite', 'Dara', 'Dark Jewels', 'Dark Star', 'Dawn Child', 'Dawning Mist', 'Dawn Song', 'D Breese Jones', 'De-Kay', 'Deliciosa', 'Demeter', 'Derekto', 'Donilda', 'Doris Spiess', 'Dubarry Rose', 'Dusky Monarch', 'Early Evening', 'Easter Dawn', 'Echo', 'Egeria', 'El Carina', 'Eleria', 'Ellen Leaf', 'Elsie Gersdorff', 'Emberglow', 'Embossed Velvet', 'Enamorada', 'Enchanted Bride', 'Ephesia', 'Epidote', 'Erminia', 'Essence', 'Evening Skies', 'Fair Anita', 'Fair Cynthia', 'Fair Dawn', 'Fair Romance', 'Fairy Castle', 'Fairy Delight', 'Feng Loo', 'Festoon', 'Finella', 'Fire Gleam', 'Firetail', 'Flaming Sunrise', 'Flequillo', 'Flocadura', 'Florence Leonardi', 'Florera', 'Foam Sprite', 'Frederick Spiess', 'Frilled Gold',

Tall Bearded (G-O ): 'Galenaia', 'Gallant Miss', 'Gertrude Esther', 'Glowing Heart', 'Glowing Sunset', 'Goldcraft', 'Gold Dust', 'Golden Bells', 'Golden Heart', 'Gold Inlay', 'Gold Lode', 'Gold Morning', 'Goldspun', 'Gold Token', 'Goldie Pappe', 'Grape Sherbet', 'Gratone', 'Gray Skies', 'Great Atlas', 'Grenadine', 'Gulnar', 'Gypsy Lass', 'Heart Aglow', 'Herman Gersdorff', 'Hildegarde', 'Hindu Princess', 'Honey Opal', 'Hoosier Bantam', 'Howard Watkins', 'Hugh Mercer', 'Ida McAulifee', 'Ide Cammerer', 'Ildico', 'IL Penserosa', 'Indian Lass', 'Indian Princess', 'Inez De Montreville', 'Inez Marie', 'Iska', 'Jacamer', 'Jacola', 'Jacotte', 'James Caldwell', 'Jamila', 'Jeanette Baker', 'Jicarilla', 'Joandra', 'John Trumbull', 'Juma', 'Kai Soo', 'Kakapo', 'Karl Spiess', 'Kate Warren', 'Kedeshka', 'Kerula', 'Kiata', 'Kirdyaga', 'Knight Gallant', 'Knight Warrior', 'Lady Buff', 'L Allegro', 'Lelawalla', 'Lemon Crepe', 'Lemon Ruffles', 'Lemon Sherbet', 'Leslie Crawford', 'Liebschen', 'Lilywhite', 'Lina-May', 'Linda', 'Little Anita', 'Little Cleora', 'Lola Csonka', 'Lolona', 'Lorice', 'Love Dream', 'Lovelight, 'Lovely Mary', 'Lua', 'Lucybelle', 'Malinche', 'Mallow Rose', 'Maralda', 'Margaret Lydia', 'Marrakesh', 'Mary Mae', 'Matana', 'Maykiss', 'Maylina', 'May Music', 'Mela-Haska', 'Melkarth', 'Mera', 'Merne', 'Merry Lass', 'Mildred Wright', 'Minnie Merrell', 'Miss Penny', 'Miss Symphony', 'Misty Dawn', 'Misty Sunrise', 'Mitzi', 'Mokena', 'Moonlight Sonata', 'Moon Pool', 'Moorish Prince', 'Morgan Le Fey', 'Mother', 'Mother Dear', 'Nadesha', 'Nagual', 'Nalita', 'Naruna', 'Natasha', 'Nicholas Biddle', 'Nina Watkins', 'Nyana', 'Ogoya', 'Old Velvet', 'Oleta', 'Opalescent', 'Orange Torch', 'Orchid Dream', 'Orchid Rose',

Tall Bearded (P-Z) 'Palanpin', 'Palceng', 'Pastel Art', 'Paul Brush', 'Peppermint Candy', 'Petrina', 'Picturesque', 'Pink Tourmaline', 'Poet Prince', 'Polly Prim', 'Prendado', 'Prince Splendor', 'Purple Dawn', 'Pyrotechnics', 'Quahada', 'Quaker Maid', 'Radiant Beauty', 'Ranya', 'Red Beacon', 'Redbeard', 'Red Feather', 'Red Garnet', 'Red Imp', 'Red Mantilla', 'Red Rogue', 'Red Sunrise', 'Resalada', 'Rosanna Felty', 'Rosy East', 'Royalist', 'Royal Potentate', 'Royal Vintage', 'Ruby Erskine', 'Russet Brown', 'Salmon Elf', 'Salmon Glow', 'Sancia', 'Saona', 'Sawannic', 'Scarf Dance', 'Sergeant Gersdorff', 'Sha', 'Shaga Laska', 'Shakoka', 'Shanrela', 'Shira', 'Silver Sheen', 'Sky Glory', 'Sky Lad', 'Smiling Moon', 'Smiling Welcome', 'Somerset', 'Sophie Lundquist', 'Sparkler', 'Spring Beauty', 'Spring Gold', 'Spring Melody', 'Spring Music', 'Spring Robin', ,Spring Sunrise', 'Star Cluster', 'Sulphur Chiffon', 'Sulphur Cockatoo', 'Sunbright', 'Sun Lassie', 'Sunny Lass', 'Sunny Morn', 'Sunset Lights', 'Sweet Leilani', 'Syrian Venus', 'Syrinx', 'Tagami', 'Tawenda', 'Themis', 'The Morning', 'Thespis', 'The Viceroy', 'Tinkerbell', 'Titanic', 'Titina', 'Tokala', 'Twilight Peace', 'Ursula Russell', 'Valcola', 'Van Zandt', 'Velvet Drapes', 'Velvet Royal', 'Vivola', 'Wag', 'War Paint', 'Warrior Queen', 'Wayona', 'White Crepe', 'White Sister', 'Wilbur Gersdorff', 'Wilhelmina Baker', 'Wings of Morning', 'Yacquita', 'Zorana', 'Zorita'.

-- Main.RPries - 2012-02-23
Topic revision: r45 - 04 Oct 2017, Harloiris
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