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Eric Nies Medal

(SPEC) Iris ensata

The Eric Nies Medal is the highest American Iris Society award given strictly to a spuria Iris. The Eric Nies Medal is actually a plaque. Legend has it that Ben Hager, who had won almost every medal possible, complained that they all went into a drawer and the he wished he had something to hang on his wall. The Spuria Society fulfilled his dream.

History By Clarence Mahan.............................related links; Awards; 2015 Eric Nies Medal Candidates.

This medal is restricted to spuria (SPU) irises. It is named in honor of Eric Nies (1884-1952).

(SPEC) Iris ensata

Eric Nies was born in Saugatuck, Michigan, the son of Dutch immigrants. He graduated with a BS degree from Michigan State College, where he was a star pitcher on the baseball team. In 1913, he and his wife Grace moved to Los Angeles, California, where he taught high school botany and agriculture for many years. He was a man who was praised for his beautiful singing voice, his wit and his charm.

Soon after Nies moved to California, he became interested in irises of all types. He obtained his first spuria irises from Jennett Dean, who operated one of the first iris specialist nurseries in the U.S. Spurias were his special interest. His first cross was with I. orientalis with 'Monspur'. He interbred seedlings from this cross, and in the second generation there was a virtual explosion of color: blue, lavender, brown, bronze and cream. Some of these early cultivars, the forerunners of great advances in spuria irises, are 'Bronzspur', 'Saugatuck', and 'Azure Dawn'.

Even during his lifetime, Nies was recognized as the foremost breeder of spuria irises in the world. Marion Walker took over his seedlings and breeding lines after he died in 1952. One of the Nies cultivars introduced by Walker is 'Driftwood', which is chocolate-brown with a gold flush. It won the Nies Award in 1959.

List of Eric Nies Medal winners - Spuria (SPU) Irises:
'Castor River'
2016 - David Niswonger
'Missouri Morning'
2015 - David Niswonger
'Golden Ducat'
2014 – Anna & David Cadd
Golden Ducat
'Missouri Orchid'
2013 - David Niswonger
Missouri Orchid
'Solar Fusion'
2012 - Lee Walker
Solar Fusion
'Speeding Star'
2011 - Anna & David Cadd
Speeding Star
'Missouri Dreamland'
2010 - David Niswonger
MissouriDreamland
'Missouri Autumn'
2009 - David Niswonger
MisouriAutumn
'Elfin Sunshine'
2008 - Charles Jenkins
ElfinSunshine
'Missouri Orange'
2007 - David Niswonger
MissouriOrange
'Adriatic Blue'
2006 - David Niswonger
AdriaticBlue
'Missouri Iron Ore'
2005 - David Niswonger
MissouriIronOre
'Missouri Rainbows'
2004 - David Niswonger
MissouriRainbows
'Missouri Sunset'
2003 - David Niswonger
MissouriSunset
'Sunrise In Missouri'
2002 - David Niswonger
SunriseInMissouri
'Missouri Springs'
2001 - David Niswonger
Missouri Springs
'Ila Remembered'
2000 - Ben Hager
IlaRemembered
'Sultan's Sash'
1999 - David Niswonger
SultansSash
'Missouri Rivers'
1998 - David Niswonger
MissouriSunset
'Countess Zeppelin'
1997 - Ben Hager
Countess Zeppelin
'Chocolate Fudge'
1996 - David Niswonger
Chocolate Fudge
'Cinnamon Stick'
1995 - David Niswonger
Cinnamon Stick
'Son Of Sun'
1994 - Floyd Wickenkamp
Son Of Sun
'Betty Cooper'
1993 - Eleanor McCown
Betty Cooper

List of Eric Nies Award winners - Spuria (SPU) Irises:

In 1993 the first Eric Nies Medal was awarded, Previously the Eric Nies Award was equivalent to an Award of Merit. Note that most classifications within the AIS Awards System began with Award of Merit (AM) equivalent Awards, later elevated to Medal status. At this transition, previous Award winners from a specified period of time re-competed for the higher Medal honors. Thus there are some duplicate entries (*) .

1992 - 'Dress Circle' - B. Hager 1991 - 'Highline Coral' - E. McCown 1990 - 'Cinnamon Stick' (*) - D. Niswonger
1989 - 'Destination' - B. Hager 1988 - 'Janice Chesnik' - E. McCown 1987 - 'Son Of Sun' (*) - F. Wickenkamp
1986 - 'Betty Cooper' (*) - E. McCown 1985 - 'Imperial Gold' - E. McCown 1984 - 'Adobe Sunset' - E. McCown
1983 - 'Highline Honey' - E. McCown 1982 - 'Fergy's Poetry' - W. Ferguson 1981 - 'Imperial Ruby' - E. McCown
1980 - 'Buttered Chocolate' - D. Niswonger 1979 - 'Ila Crawford' - B. Hager 1978 - 'Clarke Cosgrove' - B. Hager
1977 - 'Proverb' - W. Ferguson 1976 - 'Forty Carats' - W. Ferguson 1975 - 'Imperial Bronze' - E. McCown
1974 - 'Marilyn Holloway' - B. Hager 1973 - 'Archie Owen' - B. Hager 1972 - 'Port Of Call' - B. Hager
1971 - 'Highline Lavender' - E. McCown 1970 - 'Baritone' - W. Ferguson 1969 - 'Connoisseur' - B. Hager
1968 - 'Dawn Candle' - W. Ferguson 1967 - 'Elixir' - B. Hager 1966 - 'Wakerobin' - W. Ferguson
1965 - 'Morningtide' - Walker 1964 - 'Thrush Song' - W. Ferguson 1963 - 'Golden Lady' - R. Combs
1962 - 'Cherokee Chief' - E. Nies 1961 - 'Dutch Defiance' - E. Nies 1960 - 'Lark Song' - E. Nies
1959 - 'Driftwood' - Walker 1958 - 'White Heron' - Milliken 1957 - 'Sunny Day' - H. Sass
1956 - 'Wadi Zem-Zem' - Milliken
 

-- Main.RPries - 2009-10-14
  • 'Missouri Autumn' Terry Aitken photo:
  • -- AlainFranco - 19 Jan 2012
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Eric_Nies_Award_crp.jpgjpg Eric_Nies_Award_crp.jpg manage 47 K 01 Sep 2010 - 12:36 UnknownUser Pries photo
Eric_Nies_small_edited-3.jpgjpg Eric_Nies_small_edited-3.jpg manage 17 K 27 Dec 2009 - 20:12 UnknownUser  
missouri_autumn--Aitken.jpgjpg missouri_autumn--Aitken.jpg manage 41 K 14 Oct 2009 - 12:51 UnknownUser 'Missouri Autumn' Terry Aitken photo
Topic revision: r36 - 10 Nov 2016, waynemesser
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