The Bennett C. Jones Medal
The Bennett C. Jones Award for Outstanding Median Hybridizing
is an annual
award given by the Median Iris Society to an iris hybridizer who has made
noteworthy contributions to the breeding of median irises.
In 2006, President Perry Dyer conducted a tribute to Bennett Jones detailing his
history and early work that resulted in forming median classes, his award
winners and contributions to the iris world. The culmination was the
presentation of the new Median Society award: The Bennett C. Jones Award for
Outstanding Median Hybridizing, which will continue in future years, to Bennett
as first recipient.
A Hybridizerís Hybridizer
- Born in Northern Colorado, his first exposure to irises was a trip to Boulder, CO to meet J. D. Long and visit Long's Gardens.
- During high school, he earned enough money mowing and raking
lawns to order 6 irises for $5 from Schreiner’s Gardens
- After two disastrous springs in a row in Colorado, a friend
of Bennett’s told him of the ideal climate and growing
conditions in the Portland area.
- So in 1941, with new bride Betty Stuart, he picked up and moved
to the Promised Land.
- After serving in the Navy during WWII, he bought the parcel
of land where he built the house he resided in for over 50 years
in Raleigh Hills.
- In 1946 he began corresponding with the leading hybridizers
of the day, and with them was among the first to incorporate I. pumila into
his breeding program.
- This led to the birth of the Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris that
we know today.
- Through the years Bennett has introduced over 100 irises, in
classifications ranging from Miniature Dwarfs through Tall Beardeds
and even Pacific Coast Natives.
- He is best known for his pioneering work in the SDB class,
launching contrasting beards, advancements in form, success in
improving colors and exploring new colors and patterns.
- His Sass Medalist, Peachy Face, was one of the first Intermediates
recognized as having some degree of fertility.
- Cook-Douglas Medals:
- Cherry Garden
- Gingerbread Man
- Cotton Blossom
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Rain Dance
- Sun Doll
- Orange Tiger
- Bedford Lilac
- Dot Com
- Sass Medal:
- Knowlton Medal:
Thank you Bennett for all the beauty and wisdom youíve brought into our lives.
Winners of the Bennett C. Jones Award for Outstanding Median Hybridizing
Click on the Hybridizer's name to view a short biography.
|2016||Lynda Miller, Canby, OR|
|2015||Jean Witt, Des Moines, WA|
|2014||Lynn Markham, Lunenburg, MA|
|2013||Ken Fisher, Bella Vista, AR|
|2012||Marky Smith, Yakima, WA|
|2011||Keith Keppel, Salem, OR|
|2010||Terry Aitken, Vancouver, WA|
|2009||Paul Black, Salem, OR|
|2008||O. David Niswonger, Cape Girardeau, MO|
|2007||Allan Ensminger, Lincoln, NE|
|2006||Bennett C. Jones, Portland, OR|
Nomination forms for this award are due each year by December 31. To make nominations, click on the link below to obtain a copy of the Nomination Form (PDF).