It is expected that a new iris will be registered and than introduced. This order does not always happen. Sometimes a cultivar is introduced for sale before it has been properly registered. This creates problems for the garden owner.
There is no assurance that this Iris' name has not been used before or would not be used in the future for another Iris that could be registered.
The iris cannot be awarded trophies or ribbons at an AIS Show or win AIS Garden Awards.
Registration protects Breeders rights, patents, trademarks and other proprietory documents
Published botanical names are equivalent to registered names. Example an iris could be shown as Iris reticulata or I. reticulata 'Purple Delight' or 'Purple Delight'
Historic Irises that were never registered are treated like registered cultivars. Historic Irises were introduced 30 years or more ago.
Gallery of introduced but unregistered Irises
Note some irises may be registered soon and the timing is just off.