Iris Preservation


Our Mission: HIPS shall educate the public about historic irises and bring historic irises at risk of extinction together with members of the public who want to grow and perpetuate them.


Iris Preservation is one of the major functions of our Society. There are many rare historic irises being grown in gardens across the US and around the world that are in danger of being lost forever.

Growing and collecting irises is a passion of many gardeners and a labor of love. With the passing of time or simply changes in life that shift priorities, gardeners can become overwhelmed with maintaining their gardens, or not be able to care for them as they once did. Rather than have these collections destroyed or abandoned, we can offer assistance in rescuing and redistributing the varieties to current collectors to ensure they stay around for future generations to enjoy.

Our Preservation Projects program has facilitated the transfer of older iris for several irisarians whose collections were about to be lost because they could no longer care for their collections. These distribution efforts promote the growing of rare historic cultivars in multiple areas of the country. Eventually, every Iris will reach historic status, so every Iris is worth saving! Please reach out to us if your Iris collection is in need of saving or if you simply need to downsize your collection. No project is too big or too small for us to handle. Contact us at [email protected]

We believe in being proactive about preserving the historic iris of the future as cultivars start disappearing from commerce long before they reach historic status. Many varieties from the 80’s and early 90’s are already disappearing. Our Guardian Gardens program is working on preserving rare Iris cultivars before they become extinct. For more information on this project check out the Guardian Gardens link. Other ways to help preserve these historic beauties are to join the Breeder Collections program or hold a HIPS Display Garden.