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Re: HIST:Gracchus

In a message dated 6/12/04 8:58:58 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
iris_nut@yahoo.com writes:

> I was looking at the HIPS section of the World Iris Association website, 
> and it says Gracchus was on a black list. What is the black list and why does a 
> plant get on it? 

Hi, Carole.  The new American Iris Society spent quite a lot of time and 
effort rating and recommending the "best" irises to grow, after it's formation.  
In 1925 it issued both a "white " list of recommended varieties, and a "black" 
list of older varieties that were thought to be inferior, or superseded by 
better irises of the same type.  These lists were based on ratings by judges, and 
published in AIS Bulletin 14, Jan. 1925.  The White list irises "have proved 
generally reliable under normal cultural conditions and  ... are considered 
worthy of general planting."  The Black list irises were deemed "Irises of 
markedly inferior quality, not worthy of further propagation and dissemination."  
It was hoped "that this concentration of publicity upon the good and the bad 
will establish a foundation upon which we can build an appreciation, a far more 
wide-spread appreciation of the best in irises." 

Of course, there are always differences in opinion!  And many of the "black 
list" irises survived and a few are quite popular.  (Incidentally, I do not see 
Gracchus on the original Black list.) 

This fascinating era of AIS history is recorded in the Bulletins of the time, 
which may be purchased in photocopy from the Historic Iris Preservation 

Dorothy Stiefel
HIPS NE Director

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