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Hybridizer Benjamin Ross Hager --(1915-1999)

Stockton, California, USA

Ben Hager Hager Cup

Ben Hager Memorium - Louisiana Iris Society

We regret the loss of another or our fine iris hybridizers from California with the death of Ben Hager in the first week of May. Ben became interested in the Louisiana irises when he first worked for Milliken Iris Gardens in Southern California. They were one of the first large commercial gardens to offer what was then a new type of irises. It was here he met Sid DuBose, who had been a student in horticulture at Louisiana State University and an early member of the Society for Louisiana Irises. The two left Milliken in 1955 to buy and operate Melrose Iris Gardens in Modesto, California. Four years later they moved to Stockton, California. Ben was known primarily as a hybridizer of bearded irises, but worked with many different species and lately with daylilies. Most iris growers identify him with his famous award-winning pinks, VANITY and BEVERLY SILLS, which make the tall bearded popularity poll each year. Louisiana iris growers know him for his excellent dark purples, FULL ECLIPSE (1977) and DARK TIDE (1981) and his hardy reds, CAJUN COUNTRY (1985) and CAJUN COOKERY (1989).

Ben’s encouragement influenced the work of Mary Dunn, for whom he named an iris. This iris, MARY DUNN, won the DeBaillon Award in 1977. Much of the instant popularity of the Chowning irises can be credited to Hager, who introduced them in the late 1970s with a full page color picture of ANN CHOWNING on the cover of the Melrose catalog. It was this type of publicity for the Louisiana irises that made Ben one of our best promoters. He was an off and on member of the Society, but came to several meetings in Lafayette and authored articles for the Newsletter. His extensive plantings of Louisiana irises exposed them to the hundreds of people who visited the Melrose garden.

I remember my first AIS convention after retiring in 1972, not having attended a convention since 1960. Neither had other representatives of Region 10 (Louisiana). At the Welcome Dinner when I stood up for Region 10, Ben Hager and Sid DuBose stood up, clapped, yelled and whistled! How could anyone forget such a spontaneous welcome? This is just one of the ways Ben Hager endeared himself to all the members of the American Iris Society.
-Marie Caillet

List of registrations/introductions:

Arilbred: 'Barely Mohr'; 'Burra Sahib'; 'Cool Oasis'; 'Desert Diamond'; 'Desert Plum'; 'Dune'; 'Howdah', 'Humohr', 'Kalifa's Robe', 'Kiosk', 'Kuza-Nama', 'Onlooker', 'Sheik', 'Sultan's Jewelry', Ab.AbTul Kerem, 'Turkish Fez', 'TurkishTangent', 'Whatzit', 'Zerzura'.

Border Bearded: 'Audacious', 'Brain Child', 'Conjure', 'Cupid Smiles', 'Double Up', 'Earthling', 'Folderol', 'Interplay', 'Lacy Lasso', 'Pampered Baby', 'Penny Arcade', 'Pinata', 'Pink Bubbles', 'Play Pal', 'Something Special', 'Spitfire', 'Star Child',

Intermediate Bearded: 'All Right', 'Back Talk', 'Blast', 'Brighten Up', 'Butter Pecan', 'Cheers', 'Chit Chat', 'Darkness', 'Doll Type', 'Fiddle Faddle', 'Gadget', 'Hot Fudge', 'Improvisation', 'Indeed', 'Joy Boat', 'Lookin' Good', 'Of Course', 'Pacifier', 'Piece Of Cake', 'Pony', 'Pot Luck', 'Svelte', 'Swizzle', 'Three Dollars', 'Trio', 'Why Not', 'Young Blood',

Japanese: 'Dawn Horizons', 'Fringed Cloud', 'Pooh Bah', 'Stranger In Paradise', 'Tender Trap',

Louisiana: 'Ann's Child', 'Cajun Cookery', 'Cajun Country', 'Dark Tide', 'Delta King', 'Delta Sunshine', 'Full Eclipse', 'Mary Dunn', 'Shrimp Louis',

Minature Dwarf Bearded: 'Behold Titania', 'Bitsy', 'Bluetween', 'Bugsy', 'Ceremony', 'Chaste', 'Coy', 'Curio', 'Cute Tot', 'Dainty Morsel', 'Ditto', 'Doodle', 'Doozey', 'Downsized', 'Dragons In Amber', 'Dulcet', 'Dumpling', 'Fair Moon', 'Fey', 'Flea Circus', 'Footlights', 'Fragment', 'Gallant Youth', 'Gem', 'Gherkin', 'Gizmo', 'Grey Pearls', 'Hint', 'Hot Foot', 'Into the Woods', 'In Touch', 'Invisible Ink', 'Ivory Buttons', 'Jiffy', 'Kid Stuff', 'Libation', 'Macumba', 'Mini Coquette', 'Nestling', 'Pattycake Baker Man', 'Petty Cash', 'Pipit', 'Pirate's Apprentice', 'Pixie Tricks', 'Prodigy', 'Self Evident', 'Simple Enough', 'Small Thing', 'Sweet Tooth', 'Three Cherries', 'Tiny Apricot', 'Tiny Cherub', 'Trifle', 'Wee Me',

Minature Tall Bearded: 'Abridged Version', 'Bright Sparks', 'Devotee', 'Dinky', 'Doll Dream', 'En Route', 'Entr'Act', 'Gumdrops', 'Ingenious Paradox', 'Little Me', 'Little Who', 'Little You', 'Louise Hopper', 'New Idea', 'New Wave', 'Puppy Love', 'Scale Model', 'Shrinking Violet', 'Snob Appeal', 'Style Model', 'Ting-a-Ling', 'Tit Willow'.

Pacific Coast Native: 'Aromas', 'Califancy', 'Native Blush', 'Pacific Dazzler', 'Pacific Moon', 'Tidy White',

Siberian: 'Alter Ego', 'Cabernet', 'Chilled Wine', 'Earthborn', 'Innocent Ego', 'Jaybird', 'Omar's Cup', 'Other Worlds', 'Pink Sparkle', 'Rose Quest', 'Ruby Wine', 'Sparkle', 'Sparkling Rose', 'Star Cluster', 'Star Glitter', 'Starsteps', 'Swank', 'Thespian'.

Species: 'Sanguinea nana' , 'Violet Parasol' ,

Species Hybrids: 'Phil Edinger', 'Roy Davidson', 'Valley Blue',

Spuria: 'Airy Fancy', 'Ambition', 'Archie Owen', 'Arts Alive', 'Chocolate Dip', 'Clarke Cosgrove', 'Connoisseur', 'Copper Trident', 'Countess Zeppelin', 'Custom Design', 'Destination', 'Diminuendo', 'Dragon Rider', 'Dress Circle', 'Duerme', 'Eagle', 'Easter Colors', 'Elan Vital', 'Eleanor Hill', 'Elixir', 'Essay', 'Fable', 'Farolito', 'Far Out', 'First Fruits', 'Fixed Star', 'Follow Through', 'Future Perfect', 'Gilded Chalice', 'Guest Artist', 'Handsome Is', 'Headway', 'Ila Crawford', 'Ila Remembered', 'In Depth', 'Innovator', 'Jubilant Spirit', 'Kashmiri Song', 'Look Lively', 'Marilyn Holloway', 'Maritima Gem', 'Media Luz', 'Megatrend', 'Moon Shrine', 'Neophyte', 'Now This', 'Objet D'Art', 'Panacea', 'Perfect Spring', 'Ping and Pang', 'Port of Call', 'Protege', 'Sarong', 'Small Package', 'Spring Reverie', 'Stars At Night', 'Sun Singer', 'Suspense', 'Transfiguration', 'Veiled Amethyst', 'Veiled Violet', 'Woodwind', 'Zamboanga', 'Zeal'.

Standard Dwarf Bearded: 'Abracadabra', 'Ace of Clubs', 'Anecdote', 'April Fool', 'Axiom', 'Bauble', 'Being Busy', 'Bobbin'', 'Bright Moment, 'Brite Bit', 'Bunny Eggs', 'Cherry Pop', 'Chicory Charm', 'Chicory Dickory', 'Chum', 'Clap Hands', 'Clay's Caper', 'Combo', 'Cream Tang', 'Crystal Bubbles', 'Cuddle Up', 'Demon', 'Dicky Bird', 'Double Take', 'Fad', 'Fairy Lore', 'Favor', 'Fracas', 'Frisbees, 'Garden Favorite', 'Gemstone', 'Happening', 'Hocus Pocus', 'Idol's Eye', 'Input', 'Jewelry', 'Just Dandy', 'Kitten Kapers', 'L'elegance', 'Lemon Tang', 'Lollipop', 'Love Token', 'Magic Dragon', 'Master Robin', 'Meadow Nymph', 'Micro Chip', 'Monkey', 'Mother Goose', 'Music Box', 'My Delight', 'My Sheba', 'Naiad', 'Opal Wings', 'Ornament', 'Peanuts', 'Pepper Mill', 'Pet', 'Phantom Kiss', 'Pigeon', 'Playful', 'Play Misty', 'Play Pretty', 'Popcorn', 'Pretty Cute', 'Puppet', 'Rabbit's Foot', 'Regards', 'Rhinestone', 'Rickshaw', 'Rusty Dusty', 'Silkie', 'Small Ritual', 'Software', 'Spangles', 'Tart', 'Tease', 'Tempt Me', 'Three Oranges', 'Toasty', 'Toy', 'While Ye May', 'Whim', 'Wunderkind'.

Tall Bearded: (A-L): 'Affluence', 'After the Ball', 'All Heart', 'Amarillo Frills', 'Amazon Bride', 'Anna Belle Babson', 'Anxious', 'Anything Goes', 'Appreciation', 'Apricot Blossom Wine', 'Art Form', 'Autumn Circus', 'Autumn Clouds', 'Autumn Grandeur', 'Balkan Glacier', 'Basic Black', 'Be Good To Me', 'Bel Canto', 'Ben's Finale', 'Beverly Sills', 'Big Sky', 'Big Valley', 'Bill Bailey', ' 'Birthday Surprise', 'Blue Anew', 'Blyth Dean', 'Bonus Mama', 'Bountiful Harvest', 'Brass Section', 'Burning Coals', 'Calm Sea', 'Caribee', 'Carry Me Away', 'Centennial Child', 'Chasing Rainbows', 'Cherished Friendship', 'Cherokee Tears', 'Christopher Columbus', 'Cinderella's Coach', 'Come to Me', 'Con Amore', 'Contribution', 'Corps De Ballet', 'Crystal Cathedral', 'Dark Ritual', 'Davy Jones', 'Decolletage', 'Delegate', 'Delicate Touch', 'Dixie Moon', 'Dolce Vita', 'Double Time', 'Drum Roll', 'Duo Dandy', ' 'Earthborn', 'Edith Wolford', 'Elegant Answer', 'Ethereal Voices', 'Falling In Love', 'Fall Rerun', 'Fanfaron', 'Fascinator', 'Feed Back', 'Filagree', 'Final Curtain', 'Fondness', 'Foolish Fancy', 'Foray', 'Forever Yours', 'Fountain of Youth', 'Fragrant Lilac, 'Fresh Air', 'Fringe Benefits', 'Garden Escort', 'Glad Heart', 'Glad Rags', 'Glowing Smile', 'Golden Bonanza', 'Good Guy', 'Good Show', 'Gracious Gesture', 'Graphic Arts', 'Gratuity', 'Hemstitched', 'High Tech', 'Horatio', 'Horny Lorri', 'Hot Property', 'Ice Sculpture', 'Igloo', 'Immolation', 'I'm Pretty', 'Incentive', 'Inducement', 'Inner Vision', 'In Person', 'Jester', 'Jump for Joy', 'Just for Laughs', 'Kathleen Kay Nelson', 'Lamia', 'La Raspa', 'Lark Ascending', 'La Valse', 'Leaping Dolphin', 'Leda's Lover', 'Life Story', 'Like the Wind', 'Lingering Spring', 'Living Picture', 'Looking Forward', 'Lovelorn',

Tall Bearded: (M-Z): 'Magic', 'Magic Wish', 'Magic World', 'Making Waves', 'Many Happy Returns', 'McKellar's Grove', 'Melba Hamblen', 'Mirror Image', 'Mister', 'Moon Journey', 'Moon's Delight', 'Moon Walk', 'Mother Earth', 'Muchas Gracias', 'Much Obliged', 'My Old Friend', 'My Valentine', 'Neptune's Cloak', 'Passing Clouds', 'Pearls of Autumn', 'Perfect Doll', 'Pink Heart', 'Pink Pincurls', 'Play to Win', 'Pleasant Surprise', 'Pleasure Dome', 'Poem of Ecstasy', 'Polite Society', 'Porcelain Frills', 'Posh Place', 'Prestige Item', 'Prosperous Voyage', 'Recherche', 'Recurring Dream', 'Recurring Ruffles', 'Red Lion', 'Remember Spring', 'Renascent', 'Retold Tale', 'Rite of Spring', 'Ritzy', 'Royal Courtship', 'Saturnalia', 'Savage Queen', 'Say Goodbye', 'Scenario', 'Sense of Humor', 'Silver Fizz', 'Silver Flow', 'Silver Years', 'Simply Delicious', 'Snow Spoon', 'Soar With Eagles', 'Songwriter', 'Sotto Voce', 'Space Odyssey', 'Space Viking', 'Speaking Freely', 'Spring Image', 'Stolen Dreams', 'Sunlit Fringes', 'Sunny Shoulders', 'Sun Worshiper', 'Surprise Ending', 'Terra Bella', 'Testament', 'Think Big', 'Time and Again', 'Timescape', 'Time Together', 'Tinted Crystal', 'To Follow One's Heart', 'Toga', 'Total Recall', 'Touchstone', 'Towering Finale', 'Triple Whammy', 'Tucson', 'Unfurled Flag', 'Vanity', 'Verismo', 'Vivid Look', 'Welcome Aboard', 'Western Tradition', 'White Elephant', 'Winds of Change', 'World Class', 'World Without End', 'Yvonne B. Burke'.
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Hager.jpgjpg Hager.jpg manage 43 K 13 May 2014 - 15:48 BobPries Curtesy of Mike Lowe from original HIPS website
Topic revision: r95 - 13 Dec 2016, Betsy881
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