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Zydeco Louisiana Iris Garden

Mary Swords DeBaillon Award Winners

The Mary Swords DeBaillon Medal is the highest award for an iris bestowed by the Society for Louisiana Irises. Beginning in 1948, the award was has been given in most years since then.  From 1948 to 1986, when the Society was unaffiliated with the American Iris Society, it was called an "Award," and subsequently a "Medal."  Prior to affiliation, it was possible for an iris to win the award more than once.  In several years and for various reasons, no award was made.

Mary Swords DeBaillon was an early enthusiast and collector of Louisiana irises.  She corresponded with Dr. John K. Small and was an important figure in the "years of collecting."  The Society of Louisiana Irises, formed in 1941, was originally named the "Mary Swords DeBaillon Iris Society."  

To look chronologically at the DeBaillon winners from the first award in 1948 to those in recent years is to experience a telescopic review of the development of Louisiana irises beginning with the species and near-species forms of early natural hybrids collected in the wild in Louisiana. The review takes one through the results of early controlled hybridization and to the latest and most popular cultivars being produced today.  The favored forms have evolved to larger, fuller, fancier flowers, but the appeal of the graceful and simpler forms of earlier plants remains strong, especially in a garden setting.

Mary Swords DeBaillon Medal
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Mary Swords DeBaillon in her garden, 1934
Louisiana Iris -Mary-S-DeBaillon
Louisiana Iris Bayou Sunset
Louisiana Iris Caddo
Mary S. DeBaillon
Caroline Dormon (collected) - 1948
Bayou Sunset
W. B. MacMillan - 1949
Lillian Trichel - 1950
Louisiana Iris Cherry Bounce
Louisiana Iris Royal Gem
Louisiana Iris Violet Ray
Cherry Bounce
Ira S. Nelson - 1951
Royal Gem
S. Smith - 1952
Violet Ray
Caroline Dormon - 1953
Louisiana Iris Saucy Minx
Louisiana Iris - The Kahn
Louisiana Iris Wood Violet
Saucy Minx
Caroline Dormon - 1954
The Kahn
Caroline Dormon - 1955
Wood Violet
Ruth Dormon (collected) - 1956
Louisiana Iris Blue Chip
Louisiana Iris Wheelhorse
Louisiana Iris Her Highness
Blue Chip
S. Smith - 1957
Caroline Dormon - 1958
Her Highness
W. Levingston (collected) - 1959
No picture available
Louisiana Iris - Louise Arny
No picture available
Amethyst Star
Sidney DuBose - 1960
Louise Arny
Charles Arny - 1961
Dixie Dusk
Matthews - 1962
Louisiana Iris - New Offering
Louisiana Iris - W. B. MacMillan
Louisiana Iris - Frances Elizabeth
New Offering
Claude Davis - 1963
W. B. MacMillan
Sidney Conger - 1964
Frances Elizabeth
Sam Rix - 1965
Louisiana Iris - G.-W.-Holleyman
Louisiana Iris - Dixie Deb
Louisiana Iris - Black Widow
G. W. Holleyman
Ruth Holleyman - 1966
Dixie Deb
Frank Chowning - 1967
Black Widow
W. B. MacMillan-1968
Louisiana Iris - Katherine Cornay
Louisiana Iris - Marie Caillet
Louisiana Iris-Delta-King
Katherine Cornay
Charles Arny - 1969
Marie Caillet
Sidney Conger - 1970
Delta King
Ben Hager - 1971
Ila Nunn
Charles Arny - 1972
Mrs. Ira Nelson
Charles Arny - 1973
Clyde Redmond
Charles Arny - 1974
Louisiana-Iris-Mary Dunn
Charlie’s Michele
Charles Arny - 1975
Charles Arny - 1976
Mary Dunn
Ben Hager - 1977
Louisiana Iris - Ann Chowning
This I Love
Frank Chowning - 1979
Ann Chowning
Frank Chowning - 1980, 1986
Bryce Leigh
Frank Chowning - 1981
Louisiana-Iris-Clara Goula
Louisiana-Iris-Easter Tide
Clara Goula
Charles Arny - 1982, 1987
Easter Tide
Charles Arny - 1983, 1988
Mary Dunn - 1984
Louisiana-Iris-Black Gamecock
Black Gamecock
Frank Chowning - 1989
Acadian Miss
Charles Arny - 1990
Mary Dunn - 1991
Mary Dunn - 1992
Frank Chowning
Henry Rowlan - 1993
Neil Bertinot - 1994
Kay Nelson
Marvin Granger - 1995
Professor Jim
Joe Mertzweiller - 1996
VooDoo Magic
Henry Rowlan - 1997
Louisiana Iris-Bayou-Mistique
Louisiana Iris-Professor-Neil
Louisiana-Iris-Cajun Sunrise
Bayou Mystique
Mary Dunn - 1998
Professor Neil
Joe Mertzweiller - 1999
Cajun Sunrise
Joe Mertzweiller - 2000
Praline Festival
Dorman Haymon - 2001
Mary Dunn - 2002
Hot and Spicy
Heather Pryor - 2004
Red Velvet Elvis
Kevin Vaughn - 2005
Peaches in Wine
Heather Pryor - 2006

My Friend Dick
Richard Butler by M. D. Faith - 2007

Louisiana-Iris-Great-White- Hope Louisiana-Iris-Henry-Rowlan  

Great White Hope
Dorman Haymon - 2008

Henry Rowlan
M.D. Faith - 2009