The Charles W. Arny, Jr. award recognizes promising Louisiana irises and rewards the hybridizers of those cultivars for their work. Although many members continue to vote for the older cultivars, the intended purpose of the award is to encourage hybridizers and recognize outstanding recent introductions. The award was established in 1993 in honor of his pioneering work done with Louisiana irises and his promotion and world-wide distribution of the flower. The winner of this award shall be selected by the annual SLI Popularity Poll which is composed of registered and introduced Louisiana irises that have met the following  criteria established by the Board of Directors:

1.Been awarded the Mary Swords DeBaillon Medal.

2.Been Awarded the AIS Dykes Medal (If awarded to a Louisiana iris).

3.Been awarded the Australian Dykes Medal (If awarded to a Louisiana iris).

4.Received the AIS Award of Merit within the past 5 years.

5.Received the AIS Honorable Mention within the past 5 years.

6.Received the Australian Award of Merit within the past 5 years.

7.Received at least three write-in nominations on the previous year’s ballot.

8.Appeared on and received at least three votes on the previous year’s ballot.

If an iris fails to receive at least three votes in a given year, it is removed from the ballot the following year.  Should that iris, at a later date, once more meet any one of the requirements (1 through 8 above) it will return to the ballot the following year. At the spring meeting of the SLI Board of Directors, the individual designated by the SLI president to compile the ballot and conduct the poll will present the proposed ballot for the upcoming poll. The Board will approve the ballot and the poll will be conducted in late summer of that year.

The following is a list of the Charles W. Arny Award for the past few years:

1993 Ann Chowning

1994 Koorawatha

1995 Jeri

1996 Dural White Butterfly

1997 Praline Festival

1998 Acadian Miss

1999 Eastertide

2000 Clara Goula

2003 Cajun Sunrise

2004 Black Gamecock

2005 Great White Hope

2006 Red Velvet Elvis

2007 Red Velvet Elvis

2008 Red Velvet Elvis

2009 Black Gamecock

2010 Atchafalaya

2011 Jeri

2012 Sinfonietta

2013 Red Velvet Elvis

2014 No Award

2015 Jeri

2016 Edna Claunch

2017 Deja Voodoo

2018 When Pigs Fly

2019 Dark Dude

2020 Rooster

2022 Annette Brown

Distribution of the Ballot and Voting Process Ballots will be mailed to all members of SLI in good standing on or around August 1 of each year.  Marked ballots should be returned around September 1 to the individual designated by the SLI President. Each member may vote for a total of twenty cultivars.  If a member casts a write-in vote(s), the total number of votes cast by the members shall not exceed twenty votes, including the write-in votes cast.  For example, should a member cast two write-in votes, they may cast 18 votes for cultivar names appearing on the ballot.  Any iris entered as a write-in must appear in the SLI Check List. If an individual votes for more than twenty cultivars, the ballot will not be counted.  If a ballot is not postmarked by the deadline, the ballot is not counted.  Ballots must be marked in ink.  Any ballot marked with pencil will not be counted. Ballots will be counted and the results tabulated by the Popularity Poll chairperson.  (Ballots will be preserved until the vote is conducted the following year.) The cultivar receiving the greatest number of votes will be designated the Charles W. Arny, Jr. Award winner for the year. 

More than one cultivar may be designated as the winner in a given year should there be a tie vote.  If the same iris wins the Popularity Poll more than once, the iris receiving the next highest number of votes will be considered to have won the Charles W. Arny, Jr. Award.  The results of the voting will be announced at the Annual SLI Convention and published in the Fleur de Lis.