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|Question: Where can I find official AIS iris registration data and photographs?|
The American Iris Society is the official international registry for all non-bulbous iris cultivars. They are responsible for processing and maintaining registration data on all bearded, beardless, and crested iris cultivars. The AIS publishes and sells annual Registrations and Introductions booklets of all irises registered each year, and every ten years compiles the preceding decade's R & Is into a single volume Check List. There are currently Check Lists for 1939, 1949, 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, and 1999, as well as R & Is for 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. The R & Is and Check Lists contain no photos but do contain full descriptions of every iris as provided by the hybridizer at the time of registration. These publications are available for purchase through the AIS Storefront.
The AIS is also in the process of placing their registration data into a searchable online database. The online Checklist Database is a work in progress. It currently contains full registration information from the 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, and 1999 Check Lists, along with full registration information from the 2000-2004 R & Is, names only from the 1939 and 1949 Check Lists, names only from the 2005 R & I, names from 2006 registrations as of May 18, 2006, and reserved names as of May 18, 2006.
The '59, '69, '79, and '89 Check List databases are now downloadable from the website as well.
There is a nominal annual fee payable to the AIS for access to the online database. Information on purchasing a subscription and acquiring the necessary password is available on the database website linked above.
There are some tricks to locating an iris in the online database, particularly when you are unsure of the spelling of the cultivar name. The wildcard symbol (*) can be invaluable in such searches, as can a reasonable imagination for potential spellings. Take the example of the iris ALLAGLOW. If you are unfamiliar with the spelling with which it is registered, you might be inclined to search ALL AGLOW, ALL A GLOW, ALL-AGLOW, ALL-A-GLOW, or perhaps any of those without the letter W - none of which will return the desired entry in the databases. In order to facilitate the search, try first searching on the single word GLOW. That will return all entries that contain the word GLOW, but it still may not return ALLAGLOW because the word GLOW does not stand alone in that name. Try the same single word search on GLO and get the same results. So your search still hasn't given you what you want, but it has given you the next logical step. You now know that neither GLOW nor GLO appears as a stand-alone word in the name of ALLAGLOW. You can also be reasonably certain that either GLOW or GLO ends the desired name, unless the hybridizer got ridiculously creative with the spelling of the word "glow".
This is where the wildcard comes in handy. The wildcard indicates that "something" needs to appear in its place in the search. Now search *GLOW. Bingo! ALLAGLOW pops up in the search results! The wildcard symbol can be used anywhere in the search term, and more than one wildcard can be used in the same search term. You can find ALLAGLOW with searches on ALL*, *AGLO*, etc. The wildcard is also handy locating names that include punctuation like apostrophes or hyphens. The search engine sometimes gets confused by such punctuation in cultivar names and returns erroneous results. When searching for names like TITAN'S GLORY where you may not be certain if it is registered containing an apostrophe, use the wildcard to replace the possible punctuation by searching for TITAN*.
Although the AIS does not currently include photographs in their official registration records, there are several other options for locating pics of specific iris cultivars online:
- Check out the iris photos here at Shadowood
- Search the PlantFiles Database at Dave's Garden
- Check out the GardenWeb Iris Forum Gallery or post a request for a specific photo on the Discussion Forum
- Search GardenWeb's Hortiplex for "iris" or for specific cultivar names
- Search the iris-photos mailing list archive or join the iris-photos mailing list and post a request for a specific photo
- Search specific cultivar names through Google
- Spend countless hours perusing iris-related websites in search of desired photographs. You can find a comprehensive list of iris sites through the AIS Resources and Iris Links