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Iris & Daylily Garden

This garden started as an official host garden planting for the 2017 American Iris Society’s National Convention.  Hybridizers and breeders from around the world sent their latest and greatest iris varieties for convention garden inclusion back in 2014 and 2015. The Iowa Arboretum was one of six host garden sites throughout central Iowa.

The fall of 2017 led to an evaluation of irises planted on the Iowa Arboretum’s grounds. Many cultivars on display for the convention were shipped back to their breeders for further testing and/or release into the industry. Two-hundred and sixty-four irises were kept for the Iowa Arboretum’s Iris Collection based on varying breeding types, select cultivar attributes, and past and present convention award winners.

The historic irises of Agnes Whiting, an iris hybridizer from Van Meter, Iowa, were also planted before the convention. The Arboretum has been recognized by the Historic Iris Preservation Society (HIPS) for this collection.  Whitings’ tall bearded iris ‘Blue Rhythm’ received the Dykes Medal in 1950, the highest cultivar award given by AIS. Whiting also received the hybridizer’s medal from AIS IN 1947.  Agnes Whiting died in 1966.

In 2025, the Arboretum will again be hosting the national convention of the Society for Siberian Irises, a section of the AIS (hosted previously in 2000).  Plants will be arriving from hybridizers in fall 2022 and spring 2023.

More irises, primarily Siberian irises, can be found in the Perennial Gardens.

Please visit the American Iris Society’s website for a complete description of any of the cultivars in our collections. http://wiki.irises.org/

Click here for the list of irises retained after the 2017 convention.

Click here for additional photos.

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