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The Australian Dykes Medal
and ISA Medal

The Dykes Medal is the highest award an iris can receive. It is an award given by the British Iris Society to the best iris hybridised in Australia.  An iris must win its way through a regional trial garden to be eligible for this award. Only the best will make it to be in the running for the Dykes Medal, with the very best of the best being awarded the Dykes Medal. 

2023 Australian Dykes Medal Winner

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Pictured above & in page header -  'Graeme', photos by John Taylor


John Taylor (2020)

Seedling L41-1. TB, 37.5" (95 cm), Midseason bloom. Standards apricot-pink, lighter toward edge; style arms pale apricot; falls white, flushed apricot-pink toward edge, darker apricot-pink hafts; beards orange in throat, white in middle, ends mauve; slight fragrance. 'Boyd' X 'Treasured'

'Graeme' is named after Graeme Grosvenor, the only hybridiser to have won more Dykes Medals than John.  This is John's eleventh win, Graeme has an amazing 23!  

 2022 Australian Dykes Medal Winner

'Rocky Rogue'   (Graeme Grosvenor, 2011)

Seedling# A130-4. TB, 36 (91 cm), Late midseason bloom. Standards and falls maroon red; beards tangerine red. 'Rogue' X 'Rustle Of Spring'. Rainbow Ridge 2013/14.

Pictured above  -  'Rocky Rogue', photo by John Taylor

About the Dykes Medal

The Australasian Dykes Medal was instituted in 1987 by the Iris Societies of Australia and New Zealand, in consultation with the British Iris Society. In 1995, it was replaced by separate Dykes Medals for Australia and New Zealand. The competition for the Australian Dykes Medal involves five dedicated test gardens across the country, with each eligible cultivar entered into all gardens simultaneously. This enables new varieties’ performance in a range of different growing conditions to be assessed by a number of experienced iris judges. Cultivars in the Dykes Medal test gardens are grown under their registered name (registration is a condition of entry). The cultivar receiving the highest average score in the test gardens is awarded the Australian Dykes Medal.


Since the Australian Dykes Medal gardens feature both bearded and beardless irises, the Iris Society of Australia (ISA) Medal is awarded annually for the top-scoring iris of a different type to that which has received the Dykes Medal, e.g. if the Dykes Medal winner is a bearded cultivar, then the highest-scoring beardless cultivar receives the ISA Medal, and vice versa. The Australian Dykes Medal is named after William Rickatson Dykes who was the founder of the British Iris Society. Dykes Medals are also awarded annually in the United Kingdom, North America and New Zealand.

Information for Hybridisers

Irises go through the Trial Garden system for a number of years and must win the top trial garden awards before becoming eligible for entry to the Dykes Garden.  Although only registered irises are eligible for the Dykes Garden, unregistered seedlings are welcome in the regional trial gardens. It's a great way to see how your seedling grows in other climates and to gain valuable feedback to help you decide if your seedling is worthy of registration. 


For more information on trial gardens, please contact your Regional Iris Society.  Please note that if you do not have an Iris Society in your region, most regions will allow entry from a member of any regional iris society, and you do not have to live in the region to be a member.

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