Congratulations to Keith Keppel! Of his eight(!) irises that have won the Dykes Medal, Haunted Heart may be the most deserving, which is saying a lot. The first time I saw it in person, I said "if this iris doesn't win the Dykes Medal, AIS should do away with its award system". It is a spectacular iris, perfect flower form, great branching, high bud count, vigorous grower, reliable bloomer, and it's beautiful. Imagine that, a basically grey flower yet to me it is one of the most beautiful irises ever created. And, it's distinctive. People talk about how 'new intros look just like existing ones'. Not Haunted Heart, if you could somehow line up all 60,000+ irises that AIS has ever granted a name (wouldn't that be cool
), you'd have no problem picking Haunted Heart out of the crowd. There have been some head scratchers with the Dykes, especially in the last decade or so, but they got it right this year.