Our Mission

The San Diego Iris Society was organized in July 1963 as a non-profit public benefit corporation with the express purpose of promoting the knowledge, culture and appreciation of plants in the Genus Iris, and to stimulate interest by planting irises in gardens, parks and public grounds.

The San Diego Iris Society (SDIS) is an affiliate of the American Iris Society and AIS Region 15 (Southern California-Arizona).

Informative programs, creative workshops, hybridizing tips, soil enhancement suggestions, interesting speakers and friendly people are what the San Diego Iris Society is all about. Meetings are held the second Sunday of each month except in July and August. See Events for details of our next meeting.

Go to SDIS Membership for details on how you can become a member of the San Diego Iris Society and join in the fun of appreciating and growing irises. See our Iris Info section for recommendations on growing and caring for your irises.

A Bit of History ... When It All Started

The San Diego and Imperial County irisarians got together at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Lawson in Valley Center, California on July 20, 1963. Mrs. Lawson was elected president. Special guests were Thornton Abell, president of AIS Region 15 and his wife, of Santa Monica. Three newspapers carried the news about the Society's formation -- the Press-Courier of Vista, the San Diego Union and the Daily Times-Advocate of Escondido.

By 1967 there were 82 members. Today we have over 100 members. The society held our first Spring Iris Show in April of 1964. That year also represented the first sale of iris donated by members of the society. 1965 represented the first year reblooming iris show was held displaying over 50 varieties of irises that bloom again later in the year, outside the normal Spring bloom season. Iris hybridizer Keith Keppel was a speaker at our 1966 meeting. See Bennett Jones' article on Keppel's achievements over the years.

Excerpted from an article by former SDIS president and editor Leon Vogel