HIPS Definition of a Historic Iris – An Explanation

January 18, 2022

Press Release (January 18, 2022)

The leadership of the Historic Iris Preservation Society (HIPS) is aware that many of you have expressed comments and sent emails regarding our definition of what is an historic iris. As most of you know, it was many years ago that HIPS leadership tackled this topic with input from our Board at the time and many of you. It was determined at that time that the best HIPS categorization policy was to simply say that “any iris over 30 years of age is historic.” As of this writing, that means that any iris that is known to have been registered, introduced, or documented prior to 1992 is considered historic.

There was much discussion then, as now, that our members and others have the ability to categorize historic irises further by decade or time period if they choose. However, for HIPS purposes we believe it is more important to track the “rarity” of historic irises rather than focus on age categories that will ultimately not help track and preserve historic, rare and/or endangered irises now and in the future.

With that said, I have suggested to our editor of ROOTS, Nancy McDonald, to consider writing a whole series of very informative articles on this topic. I also think that we can put some information on our newly designed website to address this topic; I think that would be of interest to our members and others who like to follow us on social media.

I want to thank all of the irisarians out there for your commitment to the preservation of historic irises. We all appreciate your feedback, insight and stories of what you are doing in your iris gardens. Keep the comments coming!!


Wendy Scott
Historic Iris Preservation Society

Please send any comments or feedback to [email protected]


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