Ray Schreiner


Schreiner's Iris Gardens began as a hobby during World War I when Francis Xavier Schreiner started growing irises in St. Paul, Minnesota; a testament to the fact that bearded irises will grow in a variety of climates. Upon his death in 1931, Francis' children continued the business and moved the gardens to the Keizer area north of Salem, Oregon.
....Our goals in breeding irises are to develop new color patterns, improve colors and flower form from what is already developed, and live up to the standards that everyone looks for in growth and disease resistance.
....I started crossing with my dad, Bernard (more commonly known as "Gus") in 1971. Dad would lay out the crosses and I, along with several others, would make the actual crosses. I also worked with Dad during the selection process, watching to see what he looked for, and the results of his crosses. This continued until my father's death in 1981. During those years, Dad taught me just about everything I know.
....Since then, I primarily make the crosses, with input from my cousin Dave Schreiner, and other family members involved in our operation. I am always ready to listen to any ideas.
....When I select a seedling, I look for new color patterns: something different and pleasing. Some things are very different, but not pleasing in color. After color, I look at the shape of the flower: breadth at the haft and the form. If the flower doesn't have those two qualities, no matter how different the color, I don't consider it as introduction material. I don't necessarily look for size, but rather, good proportion. Bud count is also important. If a seedling has the best flower, but only five buds, I'll cross it with something with more buds and hope to improve on it.
....Working with so many colors it is difficult to say which color pattern I favor. When I work with a color, I envision what I will be getting, and at the moment I like that color best. They are all my favorites. Plicatas, blues, reds, darks or yellows-mix up the patterns and you're hooked! The possibilities are endless. Imagine a black with a pure white beard, or a deep maroon with a blue beard.
....I see the future of irises as wide open. The sky is the limit: different patterns, more buds, longer bloom periods,and repeat bloomers. What about the possibilities with the foliage? We have variegated foliage. What about extending the purple hue at the base all the way to the tip? What a contrast! You could have color all year-round. Only time will tell.

Material was obtained from an article which appeared in The Canadian Iris Society Bulletin in - with permission from editor Christopher Hollinshead.
In addition to their many Award of Merit Awards over the years, Schreiners have been awarded nine Dykes Medals, as follows:
1958 BLUE SAPPHIRE, 1963 AMETHYST FLAME, 1968 STEPPING OUT, 1984 VICTORIA FALLS, 1988 TITAN'S GLORY, 1992 DUSKY CHALLENGER, 1994 SILVERADO, 1995 HONKY TONK BLUES, 1999 HELLO DARKNESS.
Ray Schreiner is an AIS Active Master Judge, and has been the primary hybridizer at Schreiners since 1982.
- Terry Aitken.................Back to people index

Back to people index

 Back to Table of Contents

Back to Hello Darkness pedigree

 Back to Index