The Greater Kansas City Iris Society

The Greater Kansas City Iris Society was formed on February 4, 1948 to promote interest in the culture, propagation and hybridization of the numerous forms and varieties of our favorite flower, the Iris. 

GKCIS has members all across the metropolitan Kansas City area in Kansas, Missouri and into suburban communities in all directions. Meetings are usually held the 2nd Monday evenings of each month from March to November at the Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes, Kansas City, MO. We also hold special events such as flower shows, tours and judges training sessions.

GKCIS is a non-profit affiliate of the American Iris Society in Region 18.  Over the years, our club hosted a number of Regional Spring and Fall Meetings. Most recently, GKCIS hosted the 2009 AIS National Convention in Overland Park. While here, convention attendees participated in garden tours, meetings, workshops and programs. Members are encouraged to attend these conventions where they are able to see and evaluate the newest introductions and seedlings from hybridizers around the world and to volunteer in area public gardens.

Over 800 different varieties of iris were sent to GKCIS from hybridizers to be grown for the convention as well as over 100 heirloom varieties donated by the Historic Iris Preservation Society. Many of these plants found permanent homes in the collections at Powell Gardens, the Cohen Memorial Iris Garden at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden and at the Lanesfield Historic School Site. 

In addition to the iris varieties found in the perennial gardens, Powell Gardens also has a collection of irises that received the Award of Merit over the past 20 years as well as a collection of historic iris varieties. These plants are displayed on "Iris Hill" originally created by Dr. Norlan Henderson who celebrates his 60th year as a member of the American Iris Society. Volunteers are always needed to assist with the maintaining these plantings contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Connie Harclerode at 816-697-2600 x 304 and specifically request to be assigned to the team for Iris Hill.

Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden is home to the Cohen Memorial Iris Garden dedicated in the fall of 2009, which includes plants donated by GKCIS. While the majority of the plants are tall bearded iris, there are also miniature bearded and water loving beardless varieties paired with annual and perennial companions to enjoy throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Volunteer opportunities for this garden are on Thursday evenings and alternating Saturday mornings. For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator.

The Greater Kansas City Iris Society also recently joined other area plant societies in creating individual display gardens at the Loose Park Garden Center near The Plaza.

Members enjoy building friendships with other iris enthusiasts and are encouraged to increase their knowledge and enjoyment of iris by participating in educational programs and sharing their experiences and knowledge. Volunteering at the above public gardens is a great way to learn from other members and observe the traits and habits of some of the thousands of varieties available in commerce. We also encourage youth groups interested in starting other community beautification projects to contact us for assistance.

Please email or call 913-406-2709 with your contact information if you have questions about iris, volunteer opportunities, or GKCIS.