The American Iris Society (AIS) is made up of 24 geographical regions within the United States and Canada. Region 22 is one of these regions. It was formed in the early 1950’s when the AIS removed Arkansas from Region 10 (Louisiana) and Oklahoma from Region 17 (Texas) and united them to become Region 22. All members of the American Iris Society living in these two states are automatically members of the region. It is organized and operated as an educational and scientific non-profit entity under the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service.
The purposes of Region 22 are to: 1) encourage and support scientific research regarding the genus Iris, including pest management and diseases affecting Irises; 2) find and conserve Irises in the wild; 3) collect, compile and publish information about the history, classification, breeding and culture of Irises; 4) encourage and support scientific research regarding the genus Iris, including pest management and diseases affecting Irises; 5) educate the public through exhibitions, public display gardens, published standards for judging and holding local, area, regional and national meetings open to the public; 6) cooperate with other public and private organizations, in the scientific and horticultural education of anyone interested in learning about the genus Iris; and further the goals and activities of the AIS.
The region, in partnership with its local AIS affiliated iris clubs, conducts numerous activities to accomplish these objectives. The varied climate in Region 22 makes it possible to grow almost all classes of irises somewhere within the region. Irises that prefer a good winter chill do well in the northern and mountainous sections of the region while those who’d rather bask in year-round warmth do well in our southern areas. Wetland irises love the moist delta-land of eastern Arkansas while the desert dwellers love the hot, dry plains of southwest Oklahoma. And being adventurous pioneers, several of us are even attempting to grow Pacific Coast irises! Region 22 is home to a number of iris hybridizers. Some are prominent, some not so well known and a few are beginners. Some have hybridized irises that gained recognition through AIS awards. For many years the region has been host to the “Pollen Daubers Seminar” or AIS Judges Training School where experienced and new or aspiring irisarians can share information. Young people are not left out of the region’s activities. We have an active Youth program for kids less than 19 years of age. Our young people are active participants at the shows and sales. They are encouraged to participate in the youth activities of the AIS. Our region includes people who have many years experience growing irises. It also includes people who are just now discovering the beauty and diversity of this versatile landscape perennial. We are young and we are mature. But we welcome everyone, whether AIS members or not, or members of another region, who want to participate in our activities.