Charles W. Amy, Jr. developed an interest in Louisiana irises when he moved to Lafayette in 1947 to accept a teaching post in economics at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. As his interest blossomed, he collected irises from the wild and began a hybridizing program which also included the newest and best hybrids then available.
Over the years, he constantly strived to develop improved hybrids, seeking better flower color and form on plants of good garden quality. He introduced well over 100 Louisiana iris cultivars to commerce, and "Amy Irises" old and new remain a staple in Louisiana iris gardens everywhere. His ivory-white CLARA GOULA, a sensation when it was introduced, is still today probably the most famous Louisiana iris cultivar.
Twelve of his introductions have won the Mary Swords DeBaillon Award/Medal, and he was a regular medal-winner at the annual Society for Louisiana Irises show.
He wrote many articles about Louisiana irises for garden publications, and his irises have been incorporated into breeding programs of other hybridizers around the globe. In 1990, Amy was presented with the Distinguished Merit Award of the Society for Louisiana Irises in recognition of his outstanding contributions. He was a past President of the Society and served on the Board of Directors, and also was a board member of the Louisiana Iris Society of America. He received the Hybridizer's Medal from the American Iris Society in 1968. A Judge Emeritus, he was active in training others to judge Louisiana irises.
He was generous in welcoming visitors to "Charjoy Gardens," his hybridizing and display gardens on the grounds surrounding his Lafayette home. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, and a son,
Charles W. Amy, III.