Awards Program - 1973
Edwin C. Brockenbrough, M.D., Bellevue, Washington
The American Rhododendron Society Awards Program has a "new look" for 1973, but its basic goals have remained unchanged:
"To improve the quality of Rhododendron plants available to the general public by discovering superior plants produced by breeding and selection, by publicizing these plants, and by utilizing the facilities and influence of the American Rhododendron Society to insure propagation and distribution."
The success of this program is wholly dependent on the activities at the chapter level, since it is here that plants are nominated, judged and introduced into the awards system. In the past some chapters have had very active Awards Committees, while a few have not participated at all. I should like to update the membership on the current status of the Awards Program in the hopes that better understanding will encourage broader interest and participation.
The following description of the Awards and Award Procedures is based on the program adopted by the Board of Directors on November 12, 1967, (A.R.S. Bulletin, January, 1968) and incorporates additional features approved by the Board of Directors on February 13, 1972. The program is currently being administered by two regional chairmen to whom ballots, completed award nomination forms, and annual reports should be sent.
If any questions arise or additional forms are needed, contact either the Eastern Chairman (David G. Fluharty, Jr., M.D.) or Western Awards Chairman (Edwin C. Brockenbrough, M.D.)
Nomination of a plant to the Eligibility List is the initial step which enters a plant into the Awards Program. Inclusion of a plant on the list does not in itself constitute an award but indicates that the plant is considered worthy of further observation and is eligible to be judged for an award in the future years.
Any clone, species or hybrid, may be judged for the Eligibility List. A single truss of flowers may be submitted, as well as an entire blooming plant.
- At least three judges shall inspect the plant, or a truss thereof, and a majority of those present and voting shall be the basis for inclusion.
- If a favorable ballot is reached, a description shall be prepared on an official Awards Form and forwarded to the Regional Awards Chairman.
Nomination of a plant to the Eligibility List shall be for a period of five years. If by the fifth year the plant has not progressed to a Conditional Award, it will be automatically dropped from the roster. It may be re-instated only by re-submission to the Chapter Awards Committee for judging.
CONDITIONAL AWARD (C. A.)
The Conditional Award indicates that the plant appears to have ornamental and cultural qualities which are superior to those of currently available clones of similar color, plant habit, and blooming period. It is conferred with the understanding that some weaknesses may not be apparent until a plant has been propagated and more widely grown and that such a trial is indicated before the plant can be judged for a major award.
- The plant must have been named to the Eligibility List during a previous year. (See explanation below.)
- The plant must be named and registered with the A.R.S.
- An entire blooming plant must be viewed.
- At least three judges shall inspect the plant, and they shall reach their decision without consultation or discussion with the owner.
- Ballots shall be forwarded by each judge directly to the Regional Awards Chairman. Failure to submit a ballot will be tabulated as a negative vote.
- A description shall be prepared on the form, "Nomination for Conditional Award," by the Chapter Awards Chairman or his designate and forwarded to the Regional Awards Chairman. Color photographs shall accompany the description. These may be either color prints or slides but must be of adequate quality to permit positive identification. At least two photographs should be submitted, one showing the entire plant and one showing a close-up of a single truss.
- The ballots will be tabulated by the Regional Awards Chairman. One negative ballot shall deny the award unless seven or more judges inspect, in which case two negative ballots are necessary to deny.
Direct Nomination for a Conditional Award:
Since acceptance of a plant by the gardening public is the ultimate test of a plant's merit, rhododendron clones already in commerce and which have proven themselves over the years shall be eligible for advanced awards on nomination by any Chapter Awards Committee. Such plants may be awarded the Conditional Award directly and become eligible for the Award of Excellence in future years. The standard Conditional Award form should be completed and submitted to the Regional Awards Chairman, along with a letter giving evidence of the plant's commercial success. It is suggested that evidence of success includes five or more years in the trade, increasing popularity among the gardening public, widespread nursery distribution, recognition at regional rhododendron shows, etc. The Regional Awards Chairman may solicit whatever additional information he feels is necessary to substantiate the plant's merit, and in his annual report to the Board of Directors, will recommend that the award be conferred, denied, or postponed. The final decision will rest with the Board of Directors.
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE (A. E.)
The Award of Excellence is a major award which indicates that a plant is considered to have ornamental and cultural qualities superior to those of contemporary plants of similar color, plant habit, and blooming period, with which it might be compared.
- The plant must have been conferred a Conditional Award in a previous year.
- The plant must exist in quantity and proof must be offered that an active program of propagation is underway.
- Judging procedure is the same as for the Conditional Award.
- Current photographs shall be submitted along with the completed form, "Nomination for Award Excellence."
SUPERIOR PLANT AWARD (S. P. A.)
The Superior Plant Award is the highest award conferred by the A.R.S. and is reserved for the rare, truly outstanding plant that is distinctly superior to other contemporary plants with which it might be compared.
- The plant shall be the holder of an Award of Excellence conferred in a prior year.
- It shall be in the plant trade and distributed by more than one nursery. 3. It may be nominated by any member of the Society, and the judging shall be the responsibility of the Chapter to which the nominating member belongs.
- At least five judges shall inspect the blooming plant.
- The judges must inspect at least three plants growing in gardens separated one from the other by not less than one mile.
- The official form, "Nomination for Superior Plant Award," shall be completed and forwarded, along with current color photographs, to the Regional Awards Chairman.
- Judges ballots shall be forwarded by each judge directly to the Regional Awards Chairman. Failure to submit a ballot will be tabulated as a negative vote.
- More than one negative vote will deny the award.
- An objection voiced by any five members of the Awards Committee of another chapter shall be sufficient to postpone the Award. Such objection must be in writing directed to the Regional Awards Chairman, must be factually supported and may not be based simply on adverse environmental conditions existing in the objecting Chapter's area. In case of such objection, the Directors of the A.R.S., after consulting with all parties, shall render a final and binding decision.