The Hans and Jacob Sass Medal


History by Clarence Mahan ..................................................related links; Awards; 2015 Hans and Jacob Sass Medal Candidates.

This medal is restricted to intermediate bearded (IB) irises. It is named in honor of Hans Sass (1868-1949) and Jacob Sass (1872-1945).

Hans Sass

Hans and Jacob Sass were born in Alt Duvenstedt, Germany and immigrated to the United States with their parents in 1884. They settled on a farm in Nebraska, and were interested in breeding garden flowers at an early age. They bred irises, peonies, daylilies, lilacs, gladiolus, lilies and other garden plants. When they became charter members of the AIS, they had been breeding irises for more than a decade. Their irises were famous for being strong growers because they used 'Amas' and I. trojana as tetraploid stud irises instead of the tender I. mesopotamica and I. cypriana.

The two brothers were very close and shared ideas on hybridizing as well as seedling pollen. When someone complimented Jacob on one of his seedlings, he would say: "Wait until you see what Hans has!" If you praised one of Hans's seedlings, he would say: "Wait until you see what Jake has!" They each introduced scores of irises, and what irises! Two of Hans Sass's irises won the Dykes Medal: 'Rameses' in 1932, and 'Prairie Sunset' in 1943. Likewise, two of Jacob Sass's irises won the Dykes Medal: 'The Red Douglas' in 1941, and 'Ola Kala' in 1948. Hans was the first to introduce true reblooming cultivars, the tall bearded 'Autumn King' and the intermediate bearded ' Autumn Queen', in 1926.

Both of the Sass brothers bred all types of irises that would grow in Nebraska, but their early fame as hybridizers came for their work producing intermediate bearded irises. Crossing dwarf irises with tall bearded irises, they were the first American breeders to develop many new colors and forms in the intermediate class. They saw the great advantage of intermediate bearded irises on the windy prairie, and the value of a type of iris that filled out the bloom season between the early dwarf irises and the later tall bearded irises.

The Sass brothers were two of the world's greatest plant breeders. Their irises won many awards and are to be found throughout the pedigrees of nearly all the modern tall bearded irises in our gardens. A number of their peony introductions are still considered outstanding cultivars, including Jacob's 'Nebraska' and Hans's 'Elsa Sass', 'Hans P. Sass', and 'Sea Shell'.

List of Hans & Jacob Sass Medal winners - Intermediate Bearded (IB) 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.
  'Code Of Honor'
2021 - Thomas Johnson
'Backlit Beauty'
2021 - Richard Tasco
'Leave The Light On'
2019 - Riley Probst
'Cat In The Hat'
2018 - Paul Black
'Red Hot Chili'
2017 - Michael Sutton
'Star In The Night'
2016 - Paul Black
'Man's Best Friend'
2015 - Paul Black
2014 - Paul Black
2013 - J. Terry Aitken
2012 - Paul Black
'Garnet Slippers'
2011 - Keith Keppel
Garnet Slippers
2010 - 'Ruby Slippers' - K. Keppel 2009 - 'Devil May Care' - P. Black 2008 - 'Ming' - M. Smith
2007 - 'Delirium' - M. Smith 2006 - 'Midsummer Night's Dream' - Lowell 2005 - 'Starwoman' - M. Smith
2004 - 'Gnu Rayz' - B. Kasperek 2003 - 'Bottled Sunshine' - H. Nichols 2002 - 'Protocol' - K. Keppel
2001 - 'Maui Gold' - T. Aitken 2000 - 'Dark Waters' - T. Aitken 1999 - 'Prince of Burgundy' - D. Niswonger
1998 - 'Cee Jay' - C. Lankow 1997 - 'Hot Spice' - T. Aitken 1996 - 'Lemon Pop' - L. Lauer
1995 - 'Blue Eyed Blond' - A. Ensminger 1994 - 'Ask Alma' - C. Lankow 1993 - 'Maui Moonlight' - T. Aitken
1992 - 'Hot Fudge' - B. Hager 1991 - 'Butter Pecan' - B. Hager 1990 - 'Hellcat' - T. Aitken
1989 - 'Honey Glazed' - D. Niswonger 1988 - 'Oklahoma Bandit' - H. Nichols 1987 - 'Az Ap' - A. Ensminger
1986 - 'Rare Edition' - J. Gatty 1985 - 'Silent Strings' - P. Dyer 1984 - 'Shampoo' - V. Messick
1983 - 'Peachy Face' - B. Jones 1982 - 'Pink Kitten' - V. Wood 1981 - 'Raspberry Blush' - M. Hamblen
1980 - 'Appleblossom Pink' - J. Boushay 1979 - 'Swizzle' B. Hager 1978 - 'Voila' - J. Gatty
1977 - 'Vamp' - J. Gatty 1976 - 'Sea Patrol' - C. Palmer 1975 - 'Butterscotch Frills' - M. Hamblen
1974 - 'Little Bit Blue' - G. Plough 1973 - 'Lemon Flurry' T. Muhlestein 1972 - 'June Prom' - A. Brown
1971 - 'Sing Again' - G. Plough 1970 - 'Drummer Boy' - Schreiner 1969 - 'Lime Ripples' - A. Brown
1968 - (M) 'Moonchild' - T. Craig 1967 - (M) 'Lillipinkput' - G. Douglas 1966 - (M) 'Kiss Me Kate' - P. Cook
1965 - 'Cutie' - Schreiner 1964 - (A) 'Lillipinkput' - G. Douglas 1963 - 'Cloud Fluff' - W. Greenlee
1962 - 'Blue Asterisk' - W. Greenlee 1961 - (A) 'Moonchild' - T. Craig 1960 - (A) 'Kiss Me Kate' - P. Cook


-- Main.RPries - 2009-12-24
Topic revision: r37 - 02 Jan 2022, WayneMesser
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