QBARS - v18n1 A. R. S. Awards


At a recent meeting of the A.R.S. Board a change in the appointment of Local Awards Committees was approved. Members, who were previously appointed for indefinite terms, will now be appointed for one year terms. Appointments are made by the President of the American Rhododendron Society on nomination by Chapter Presidents. Since some additional Chapters are considering the possibility of awards being considered in their areas a short review of the A.R.S. System of Awards is given herewith.

A.R.S. awards are given to new varieties, or species clones, of rhododendrons or azaleas, which are outstanding horticulturally and which are enough different from, and superior to, existing clones to indicate that they are a real contribution to the list of American ornamental plants. Awards are given to the plant and not to the person who grew it, although of course his name is mentioned and in many ways the award does reflect on the breeder. However we have had awards given where one man made the cross, another grew the plant, and sometimes still another bought it and later decided it was worth naming and worthy of consideration for an award.

Awards Committees will look at plants only on request by the owner of the plant. Suggestions that such request be made should not come from an Awards Committeeman as that would tend to commit him to vote favorably.

The Three Awards

There are three possible awards. The Preliminary Award, usually indicated as P. A., formerly could be given to a cut truss but more recently, by action of the Board of Directors, it has been restricted to entire plants, either growing in a garden or dug and exhibited. The Award of Excellence, or A. E., is given only to plants which have previously received a P. A. This is a higher award, of course, and indicates that the judges have observed the plant more than one year. By plant is meant clonally propagated material and not necessarily the same individual plant. In other words a P. A. could be given to the parent plant and an A. E. to a plant propagated from it. The third, and highest, award is the Test Garden Certificate, T. G. C., which is given only after two years observation in an official A.R.S. Test Garden or after two years observation in at least three private gardens which are at least a mile apart. One of these may be the garden of the originator.

Awards are given on the basis of a 3-0 vote where the committee consists of three, or at least a 4-1 vote where the committee consists of five persons. It is suggested that in areas where there are several rhododendron breeders larger Awards Committees are desirable so that at least three persons could get together, without too much inconvenience, to see a particular plant. There is, of course, no guarantee on the part of the Society or Chapter that any particular plant will be visited by an Awards Committee. If a request is made an effort will be made to have a Committee see the plant. Breeders living at a distance from any organized Chapter where there is a local Awards Committee will, of course, be unable to have their plants seen on their own grounds. If they wish consideration they might have to ship a blooming plant to another area, or provide a small plant and have it grown by someone where an official Committee could view it.

Secret Ballots Used

Awards are granted by secret ballots which each committeeman signs and sends to the Chairman of the A.R.S. Awards Committee who is Mr. Donald McClure, Seattle, Washington. The ballots will be tabulated and the descriptions of plants receiving awards will be published in the Bulletin. Awards Committeemen are urged not to discuss their vote with the owner of the plant as it can frequently lead to ill feeling if the owner finds out who has voted against what he thinks is an outstanding contribution.

Awards are granted subject to the submission of a name for the clone which meets the standards of the American Rhododendron Society's Code of Nomenclature. The name may be submitted at a later date but in order to avoid confusion the name should be submitted as early as possible.

Descriptions of varieties to be granted awards should be sent along with the ballots if possible. These descriptions are filled out on A.R.S. check list cards and cover the plant characters as well as flower characters. Where possible the flower color should be described in terms of the R. H. S. Horticultural Color Chart or the Nickerson color fan. If the Awards Committeemen do not actually fill out the description they should make arrangements for it to be done and sent either to the Chairman of the Awards Committee or to the A.R.S. Registrar, Dr. J. Harold Clarke.

Identity of Plant Must Be Insured

The ballots contain a line for indicating the method of permanent identification. There have been cases where plants granted an award were growing with other sister seedlings and the identity of the award plant was lost. Committeemen are asked to indicate very definitely the location of the plant and how it is marked, and also any tentative number or designation used by the owner to identify it. It is most important to make sure that a plant receiving an award cannot possibly be confused with another clone.

Chapter Presidents should not feel that appointment of an Awards Committee is essential. If there is no one in the area who is likely to have plants to present, for consideration by such a committee, there is no need to have it.

Since appointment is made by the A.R.S. President the Committeemen are actually representing the parent Society. As such it is quite permissible for them to function in another Chapter if invited. In areas where Chapters are fairly close together such cooperation has frequently occurred.

Awards Committees for 1964

Following are the names of Awards Committee members for 1964, as given to the Editor up to this time. Others may be appointed later and, if so, local notice will undoubtedly be given.

California Chapter - Jack Osegueda, Chm., Maurice H. Sumner, P. H. Brydon, Roy L. Hudson, Toichi Domoto
Eugene Chapter - Marshall W. Lyons, Chm., Jack V. Simons, Ellis Jones, Merle F. Saunders, Dr. R. M. Overstreet, Arthur A. Childers, Carl Phetteplace, M.D., Edgar L. Greer.
Great Lakes Chapter - Peter Gerard, Chm., Orlando Pride, Dr. Louis Martin, Paul R. Bosley, John Ravenstein, Mrs. Katherine Loesch, David G. Leach, Art Voyk, Egidius Stroombeek, A. M. Schammarello
Middle Atlantic Chapter - Dr. Henry Skinner, Chm., Dr. Fred Coe, Mrs. Powell Glass
Olympia Chapter - Miss Bernice Cornehl, Chm., Cliff Cannon, Co-Chm., Alonzo Smith.
Philadelphia Chapter - John Schamenek, Chm., Charles Herbert, Oscar Krebs, S. F. Hubbard, Francis J. Sholomskas
Portland Chapter - Cecil Smith, Chm., C. T. Hansen, George Grace, Dr. Robert Ticknor, Donald Patrick, Wales Wood, Molly Grothaus
Seattle Chapter - Don McClure, Chm., Karl Sifferman, Ed Dunn, Art Dome, Ralph Jacobson, Brian Mulligan, Ben F. Nelson
Shelton Chapter - Walt Elliott, Chm., Mrs. S. W. Vander Wegen, Vernon Wyatt
Southeastern Chapter - W. J. Brooks, Chm., E. Alfred Kremer, Dr. J. S. Raper
Tacoma Chapter - Carl Fawcett, Chm., J. Herbert Bowen, Russell L. Coovert, John H. Mund, Ted B. Fawcett