About the SPCNI


The specific purposes of Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris as stated in our Articles of Incorporation (7-16-1992):

To fulfill these purposes, the Society publishes Pacific Iris: The Almanac of SPCNI, which prints articles on all aspects of Pacifica iris cultivation, research, garden observations, and new developments in hybridization.

The Society maintains a Checklist of new hybrids, working with AIS, who handles the annual registrations of new varieties.

The Society prints, and reprints, important articles about Pacifica iris to keep this information available to members. This includes research papers by Lee Lenz and Victor Cohen, and current research by Carol Wilson. The Society also posts reference lists of historic research papers on Pacifica iris. [insert link here]The Society also tracks and reposts slide sets, articles and other references on Pacifica iris for general interest.

The Society has a Memorial Scholarship Fund, established initially as a memorial to two outstanding members, Lewis and Adele Lawyer. The Scholarship Fund is intended to grow into an endowment to support current research. Donations are tax deductible and very welcome. The Society also welcomes donations to its general fund.

The Society encourages established gardens to display and feature Pacifica iris and maintains a public garden list where members can view Pacifica iris in various settings.

Via its several publications and this website, the Society shares relevant information on growing Pacificas to encourage gardeners worldwide in suitable climates to grow species and hybrids of this diverse and gorgeous group of iris. Pacifica iris include some of the most brilliantly colored and patterned flowers in the genus Iris, and new hybrids often showcase new developments years ahead of other sections in the genus. For a better understanding of these newly emerging flower shapes, patterns and colors, see the Illustrated Glossary.


As of summer 2013, the Society had 228 members, up from a low of fewer than 180 members in 2009/10. Gardening societies come and go with the generations, and the first decade of this century saw a great turnover in memberships in many organizations. We hope that SPCNI has turned the corner and is once again heading for a growing membership, eager to learn about, grow and hybridize Pacifica iris.

Ever wonder where our members are located? A look at the membersí database answers that question: North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

SPCNI members live in the following countries: United States 175, New Zealand 14, Canada 11, Australia 10, England 10, France 2, Germany 2, Japan 2, and Scotland 2. One member each lives in Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Historically, the Society had members in Mexico. Absent from our membership at this writing in 2013 are members from Chile and South Africa, both with temperate regions of dry summers and wet winters.

As PCI gardens are in cool Mediterranean-type climates along the West Coast of North America, and halfway to rock gardens in general, it is interesting to speculate where PCIs could be successfully grown, beyond the West Coast of North America.

A review of Mediterranean climates around the world offers the following conclusions: Pacifica iris can be grown around the Mediterranean in cooler locales, and in warmer areas with shade and summer water, as Richard Richards has demonstrated for several decades in Southern California. Missing, therefore, are gardeners from Italy, Portugal, several countries around the Adriatic and Aegean Seas, and higher elevation gardeners farther east around the Mediterranean Sea, and down the West Coast of North America in Mexico and again in southern South America. Australia and New Zealand are known for microclimates that are Mediterranean-like, and PCIs do very well in some areas of both countries.

Good cultivation areas, excluding the occasional cold winter, include the British Isles, Spain and France, where several members demonstrate that this is so, along with determined gardeners in Denmark, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland, confirming that PCI and rock gardening both develop capable gardening souls who can wring suitable climates out of just about any spot on the planet. Likewise, Russia and Japan have determined gardeners, even though these areas are well away from cool Mediterranean climates.