Daylily Judging in the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS)


(written by an anonymous donor)

I will take a cursory cut at answering some questions about AHS judges. First there two major kinds of judges, the Exhibition (flower show) Judges and Garden (awards and honors) Judges. The former judges judge the horticultural division of a daylily show ( not the artistic - that is another matter ). The requirements that must be met to become either kind of judge are spelled out in the AHS judges handbook "Judging Daylilies". On to your questions:

1) What is a daylily judge's purpose? Is it to award the Stout and other awards to a daylily?

For the most part, that is the purpose of AHS Garden Judges.

2) How is it determined where a daylily will be judged? Meaning, are daylilies judged at shows, AHS display gardens, the hybridizer's garden, conventions, regional meetings, etc.?

The cultivar awards are mostly awarded by the Garden Judges. For these awards, like the Stout Medal, they are judged on ballots provided by the AHS and sent to the AHS Awards and Honors Chairman by a specified date each year. The Garden Judges are expected to visit lots of gardens, including those of hybridizers, to grow a representative sample of those up for awards, and to have undergone training. For more detail see "Judging Daylilies".

The cultivar awards not voted by the Garden Judges are voted as follows:

Lennington All-American AHS Board of Directors

Popularity Poll AHS Membership

David Hall Regional Regional AHS Membership

Presidents Cup AHS Membership attending the national convention

3) Does a hybridizer get an award, money, etc. if their DL is picked as the winner in garden/show judging?

As far as I know, the only cultivar award involving cash is $500 to the hybridizer for winning the Plouf Award. For Show Awards, the exhibitors get the prize money, if any. I have never seen the hybridizer receive any show award money except as an exhibitor. The amount of these awards is up to the Show Committee of each show and is published in the Show Schedule.

The exception is the AHS Achievement Medal. It is a show award that is paid for by the AHS. Regardless of who makes the entry in the show, it is the hybridizer who gets the award.

4) Are the results of judging posted by the AHS in the journal or somewhere else?

The cultivar awards are normally posted in the winter edition of The Journal, the AHS magazine publication. Most awards are presented at the annual AHS Convention. The major show awards and the regional popularity polls (the most popular in each region receives the David Hall Award for that region) are published in the spring AHS Journal.

5) Are judges paid to judge daylilies?

The Garden Judges are not paid. Show judges from afar are often reimbursed for mileage or room, depending on the show committee. Judging is for most of us a labor of love.

6) How does one get to be a daylily judge?

I'm glad you asked! It is relatively easy. To be appointed a garden judge (and I paraphrase), you must:

* Have been an AHS member for 36 consecutive months.
* Have paid your dues by January 1.
* Visit lots of gardens, including those of hybridizers, and grow a representative sample of those up for awards.
* Have attended at least one of your regional meetings with tours.
* Be familiar with the contents of publication "Judging Daylilies."
* Attend at least one session each of Garden Judges Workshops 1 & 2.
* Fill out an application form and get it to your Regional President by December 1. Your Regional President passes it on to the AHS Garden Judges and Workshop Chairman by December 15. If the AHS Garden Judges and Workshop Committee thinks you meet requirements, you will be appointed unless your region's quota has already been filled.

There are 4 levels of show judge accreditation, student-in-training, junior, senior, and honorary (we will ignore this level).

To be accredited as a student-in-training (and again I paraphrase), you must:

1. Have been an AHS member for 2 years immediately prior to applying
2. Have paid your dues by January 1.
3. Have a keen interest and knowledge of daylilies.
4. Grow daylilies from at least 10 hybridizers.
5. Obtain and become familiar with "Judging Daylilies."
6. Attend the "Introductory Judges Training Clinic." (Clinic I)
7. Pass a written test on material covered in the clinic.

At this point you are not eligible to judge a daylily show.

To be accredited as a Junior Judge you must:

1. Wait a year as Judge-in-Training before taking Clinic II
2. Take Clinic II and pass a written test on it. (and do it within 3 years)
3. Pay AHS dues by January 1.

You now may judge a show.

To be accredited as a Senior Judge you must:

1. Judge twice as a Junior Judge at any combination of AHS daylily shows or Master Panels for an AHS clinic.

2. Do 2 of the following:

a. Exhibit at an AHS daylily show.

b. Serve on the Classification Committee for an AHS daylily show.

c. Serve as a clerk in the Horticulture On-Scape division of an AHS daylily show.

d. Be responsible for editing and producing the schedule for an AHS daylily show.

e. Chair or Co-Chair an AHS daylily show.

3. File an application form with proof that the above requirements have been met. This part is important, because no one else will do it for you. You should be gathering this evidence as you meet the requirements.

This may all sound like a real pain, but if you follow the steps carefully, (and pay your dues by January 1st) you will become a judge and can take part in the tremendous fun of judging shows.

If you enter daylilies in shows, it pays to have taken Clinics I & II just to find out what judges look for in winners.

For complete and up to date information, please visit the AHS website: AHS




picture of a judge