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Cook-Douglas Medal


Highest award given by The American Iris Society strictly to Standard Dwarf Bearded Irises.

History by Clarence Mahan ….............................................related links; Awards; 2015 Cook-Douglas Medal Candidates.

This medal is restricted to standard dwarf bearded (SDB) irises. It is named in honor of Paul Cook (1891-1963)Paul Cook and Geddes Douglas (1902-1993).

Paul Cook was born in Indiana in 1891, and began hybridizing small fruits and sweet peas when he was a teenager. He soon was attracted to iris hybridizing, but his work was interrupted by Army service in France in WW I. Cook was a highly literate man, unpretentious but brilliant. He worked as rural mail carrier, an occupation that allowed him to have his afternoons free to work in the garden. He collected as many iris species as he could obtain and made extensive crosses to learn about iris genetics. His first tall bearded iris introduction, 'E. B. Williamson' won the Roman Gold Medal from the Concorso Intemazionale in Rome in 1938.

Because of the popularity of tall bearded irises, Paul Cook is probably best known for his revolutionary breeding, of that class of irises, and particularly for his `Progenitor' line that is behind all of our modern dominant amoena irises and the 'Emma Cook' pattern. Three of his irises won the Dykes Memorial Medal: 'Sable Night' (1955), `Whole Cloth' (1962) and 'Allegiance' (1964).

Paul Cook's work with dwarf irises was truly pioneering. His early breeding of dwarf irises led to a series of I. arenaria hybrids, the most notable being 'Keepsake', 'Tampa', and 'Promise.' He was the first to use the true I. pumila in his breeding programs, and this resulted in the introduction of the first of the great stud irises in the standard dwarf class: 'Baria', 'Fairy Flax', and 'Green Spot'. When the British Iris Society awarded Cook the Foster Memorial Plaque in 1957, Dr. L. F. Randolph wrote of him: "...his major contributions have been in the improvement of dwarf irises and in the utilization of species to produce a wide range of color-variations, in heights and blooming-periods ranging from the very early miniature dwarfs through the medians to very late-blooming tails." Geddes Douglas

Geddes Douglas was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1902. Douglas was a chemist and businessman. In the early 1950's, he founded the Geddes Douglas Garden Center in Nashville. He became 'a leader in the Tennessee Nurserymen's Association, and served a term as president of the Southern Nursery Association. He was widely known in Tennessee as the horticultural commentator on a Nashville television program from 1954 to 1969.

'Francesca,' his first iris introduction came in 1934, the year he joined AIS. Phil Edinger has written that its greatest distinction was as a grandparent to Douglas 'Titian Lady', the first tangerine-bearded white tall bearded iris, introduced in 1941. Douglas later introduced many award-winning tall bearded irises, including 'Extravaganza', 'Amandine', and 'Pagan Princess'.

Douglas's historically most important hybridizing achievements were with dwarf irises.

List of Cook-Douglas Medal winners - Standard Dwarf Bearded (SDB) Irises:

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. They are designated with an (A) beside the date on which they won the AM-equivalent, and an (M) on Medal status.
      'Oh Canada'
2023 - Thomas Johnson
2022 - Marky Smith
'Stop And Stare'
2021 - Thomas Johnson
'Portland Pink'
2021 - Paul Black
'Raspberry Ice'
2019 - Keith Keppel
'My Cher'
2018 - Paul Black
'Bright Blue Eyes'
2017 - Michael Sutton
'Open Your Eyes'
2016 - Paul Black
'Maui Sunrise'
2015 - Tie - J. T. Aitken
2015 - Tie - Paul Black
'Eye Of The Tiger'
2014 – Paul Black
'Wish Upon A Star'
2013 - Paul Black
Wish Upon A Star
'Bluebeard's Ghost'
2012 - Paul Black
Bluebeard's Ghost
'Fires Of Fiji'
2011 - Paul Black
Fires Of Fiji
2010 - Thomas Johnson
'Puddy Tat'
2009 - Paul Black
Puddy Tat
'Cat's Eye'
2008 - Paul Black
Cat’s Eye
2007 - Keith Keppel
'Ruby Eruption'
2006 - Chuck Chapman
Ruby Eruption
2005 - Marky Smith
2004 - Marky Smith
'Dot Com'
2003 - Bennett Jones
Dot Com
'Little Blue Eyes'
2002 - John Weiler
2001 - Marky Smith
Star Baby
2000 - Allan Ensminger
1999 - Terry Aitken
'Little Showoff'
1998 - Earl Hall
Little Showoff
'Bedford Lilac'
1997 - Bennett Jones
Bedford Lilac
'Pumpin' Iron'
1996 - Paul Black
'Serenity Prayer'
1995 - Perry Dyer
Serenity Prayer
'Orange Tiger'
1994 - Bennett Jones
Orange Tiger
'Dark Vader'
1993 - R & L Miller
Dark Vader
'Sun Doll'
1992 - Bennett Jones
Sun Doll
'Chubby Cheeks'
1991 - Paul Black
Chubby Cheeks
No Award
'Baby Blessed'
1989 - Lloyd Zurbrigg
'Raspberry Jam'
1988 - David Niswonger
Raspberry Jam
'Little Black Belt'
1987 - David Niswonger
Little Black Belt
'Rain Dance'
1986 - Bennett Jones
Rain Dance
'Michael Paul'
1985 - William Jones
Michael Paul
'Sapphire Jewel'
1984 - Melba Hamblen
'Sapphire Gem'
1983 - Hazel Schmelzer
Sapphire Gem
'Starry Eyed'
1982 - Joe Gatty
'Hocus Pocus'
1981 - Ben Hager
Hocus Pocus
'Mrs Nate Rudolph'
1980 - Harley Briscoe
Mrs Nate Rudolph
'Kentucky Bluegrass'
1979 - Bennett Jones
Kentucky Bluegrasss
'Amazon Princess'
1978 - Hooker Nichols
Amazon Princess
1977 - Bee Warburton
'Laced Lemonade'
1976 - Bee Warburton
Laced Lemonade
1975 - 'Cotton Blossom' - B. Jones 1974 - 'Gingerbread Man' - B. Jones 1973 - 'Regards' - B. Hager
1972 - 'Cherry Garden' - B. Jones 1971 - 'Grace Note' - M. Hamblen 1970 - 'Knotty Pine' - J. Goett
1969 - (M) 'Brassie' - B. Warburton 1968 - (M) 'Green Spot' - P. Cook 1967 - 'Blueberry Muffins' - B. Warburton
1966 - (M) 'Blue Denim' - B. Warburton 1965 - 'Easter Holiday' - J. Durrance 1964 - 'Lilli-White' - W. Welch
1963 - (A) 'Blue Denim' - B. Warburton 1962 - (A) 'Brassie' - B. Warburton 1961 - 'Fairy Flax' - P. Cook
1960 - 'Tinkerbell' - G. Douglas 1959 - (A) 'Green Spot' - P. Cook  


-- Main.RPries - 2009-12-24
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
American Iris Society_ Cook-Douglas Medal-SDB.pdfpdf American Iris Society_ Cook-Douglas Medal-SDB.pdf manage 42 K 11 Dec 2023 - 14:52 UnknownUser Cook-Douglas Medal History by Clarence Mahan
GeddesDouglas-1971_cropped_BW_2X2.JPGJPG GeddesDouglas-1971_cropped_BW_2X2.JPG manage 70 K 26 Aug 2010 - 14:43 UnknownUser AIS slides
Paul_Cook_BW_2X2_edit.jpgjpg Paul_Cook_BW_2X2_edit.jpg manage 34 K 26 Aug 2010 - 14:41 UnknownUser AIS slide
Topic revision: r71 - 18 Jan 2024, WikiGuest
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