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Vetting Symbols

Vetting Gallery Images

We consider that part of our mission at HIPS is to provide you with the most accurate identification of the iris cultivars presented in our gallery. Because the historic irises we love are 30+ years old, and many much older, that task becomes more difficult with the passing of time.  Those who hybridized the earlier iris are in many cases long gone, and along with the descriptions, an occasional faded photos or artist’s depiction, we only have provenance to guide us.

So that we do not provide inaccurate information, we are particularly careful with the vetting of of any iris photo that gets placed in our gallery. In some cases identification is virtually impossible based upon the scant traces from the past that we have at our disposal.

Because this is such an important job, HIPS has appointed Charlie Carver Chairman of the ID Committee, who will lead a team of ID experts to evaluate the accuracy of photos posted on the gallery. As the ID Committee can evaluate each gallery picture, the iris will be assigned a vetting symbol, and provide you with as much detail as possible that went into making that determination.
Charlie can be contacted at

The vetting symbols we will use are as follows:

V*  Vetted prior to 2012 by IRIS ID chairperson Phil Edinger – all older photos will be vetted in this manner.

V   Vetted – this photo has been reviewed by the HIPS photo ID chair and international ID committee and determined to be correct with an accuracy of greater than 90%.

P Probably correct in the range of 75-90% accuracy, based upon knowledge we have available today, but it is impossible to make a definitive identification at this time.

M Might be correct as any known descriptions do not contradict the image, but there is lack of adequate evidence to make a determination of identification at this time.

A   Archive photo – This photo is a picture of a HIPS archived slide, when the iris appears to be extinct (or not growing in any known garden setting with a name), and evidence is lacking, but the iris does match the AIS descriptions.

C   Historic Catalog or AIS depiction of the time the iris was current. Note that these pictures may look very different from what we may see growing today. An old photo may fade non-uniformly, or may be a colorized rendition done by an artist at the time to enhance the bloom’s visual impact (and sell more rhizomes).

X  The iris picture represents a common impostor of said iris, and it is put here for educational purposes only.  Not every incorrect iris will be published on the website, but only those that represent common impostors.

If there is no Vetting Symbol this means the iris has not yet been reviewed by the HIPS ID chairperson or a determination could not be made at this time. They could be either newer entries into the gallery or iris that are possibly right (they do not contradict existing AIS descriptions).

We invite the public to make comment about any iris’ vetting symbol and we welcome any further information that can be provided to the ID Committee regarding identification.

The ID Committee will have more extensive notes on why an iris was given the vetting symbol it carries, and  interested parties can write to the id chairperson for this information if they so desire.

We do not profess to be infallible, but rather to give you the most accurate answer using the best resources that are available.

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