Bob Spotts, California

More Kokopelli

March 26, 2008

Categories: Judging, Show Prep and Exhibiting, Shows

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I must disagree with you. Although ‘Kokopelli’ was not put on the Approved Miniatures List, that decision by the Miniatures Committee did NOT say it cannot be exhibited as a Miniature. It said that it is not small enough in enough areas to warrant such a designation.

The Chairman of an ADS Show has no authority to bar any entry from the Miniatures Classes. The ADS Show Rules (as Clay correctly quotes) allow any diminutive bloom to be entered in Miniatures classes and place the responsibility on the Judges to decide the appropriateness of the bloom. To me, this is as it should be: Let the Judges decide – that’s what they are trained to do.

As its originator, I was never informed that ‘Kokopelli’ was under consideration for the Miniatures List. If asked, I would have stated emphatically that I opposed its inclusion. It is a Standard as I grow it.  But, let it be grown in cold-climate Northern Illinois – even by a fine grower such as Nancy Pilipuf –  and it is so diminutive that in my opinion it should compete as a Miniature.

As far as having a cultivar entered in a show  in both classes for Standards and Miniatures, that might be annoying  – but it really is a minor issue. Perhaps the entries are from different exhibitors who live in widely different climatic zones. The Judges should know how the cultivar performs in the local area – and should use that knowledge to decide the appropriateness of the entries for show awards.

It is not in the best interests of the ADS to impose rules that unnecessarily restrict the showing of daffodils to the public.

 Bob Spotts
 Oakley, California

At 09:33 AM 3/26/2008, Daniel Bellinger wrote:

Dear Clay,
I agree fully with Naomi Liggett.  Kokopelli has been considered more than once by the miniature committee, and they have repeatedly and unambiguously called it a standard.  No show chairman should allow it as a miniature.
Daniel Bellinger
Wadsworth OH

4 responses to “More Kokopelli”

  1. Peter and Lesley Ramsay says:

    I am the last one who should be commenting on miniatures as I rarely exhibit them.  Indeed the only victory I have had in the mini classes was with —————– Kokopelli!  Of course it is eligible here as it is on our list.  But, also of course if it looks to be too big for a mini judges may downpoint it, but NOT NAS it.  

    What I want to say is that Kokopelli is a lovely variety that I would not part with even though I am downsizing my collection this  year.  It receives no special treatment and is planted along with the rest of our collection.  It grows very vigorously, multiplies rapidly, and flowers with reckless abandon.

    Any leftover bulbs are grabbed by Lesley for her rockery.  It was a wonderful gift, Bob, arriving by sock mail. I just wish that all my standards performed with such vigour.

    We will finish planting today.  Too early really, the bulbs will just have to take their chances with the heat and the drought.  We leave for the USA and the UK Tuesday week!



  2. Bob Spotts says:


    Thanks for the compliment on Kokopelli.

    Your NZ Judges do as ours are supposed to do: penalize for oversize, but do not NAS. That’s for those on the "Approved List of Miniatures."

    In the ADS, cultivars need not be on the Approved List to be shown as Miniatures. (But, if on the Approved List, they cannot be shown elsewhere.) So, in the ADS, the exhibitor has every right to be enter Kokopelli as a Miniature. Judges feeling it too large can indeed NAS it.


  3. Melissa Reading says:


    It seems that in my innocence and curiosity I have stirred up quite an intense conversation, where passionate views are expressed. I’m not sure that in my recent judges training I garnered a clear sense of how blooms are categorized as miniatures. It is quite clear in the case of single-floret stems that the perianth must be less than 50mm in diameter. It is not at all clear in the case of multifloret blooms what is measured, and what the criteria are. As my husband says: "You pull it through a 2 inch hole and see how much damage is done".

    It is quite certain that the richness of nature exceeds the complexity of any classification system we might wish to construct, and it probably behooves us to think about what the real goals are: we want a classification system to put some degree of order into a very complex set. But to expect that all members of the set (blooms in the genus Narcissus) will neatly fit the classes is unrealistic. Then we either need to discard perfectly beautiful blooms "through no fault of their own" but just because we chose classes they did not fit, or else we need to apply our rules with flexibility.

    So perhaps the reason I didn’t get a clear sense of how miniatures are defined (especially in the upper divisions) is that it is in fact not a well defined issue, but depends on many more variables than we take into account.

    If our interest is to show as many beautiful cultivars as possible to the public, then I think we might decide that we can live with these soft edges in our definitions, in preference to the alternative of simply discarding types that don’t fit our preconceptions.

    As to the argument about a bloom being a miniature in one area and a standard in another, that seems perfectly reasonable to me on several grounds. In California as an example, Tazettas have stems as stout as your index finger and can stand 3′ tall. If someone in a cold climate is skilled enough with placement and mulching to manage to grow them at all, they are much smaller. I do not think this would constitute poor growing. Conversely, if Division 1-4 hybrids grow lush and fat in Northern Ireland or Virginia, but are less well adapted in California, they may fit into different categories in the two places. I’ve taken geographical extremes here, but can aver that even the 35 miles between Bob’s place in Oakley and mine in Livermore can be an important difference for some cultivars.

    So my thought would be that in the case of cultivars whose habit lies close to a boundary we’ve set, we may indeed find it reasonable that even in a single show they appear in both standard and miniature classes.


  4. Nancy Ellis says:

    Hear hear!! Thank you, Bob.

    Nancy Ellis