Exibitors’ entries at shows fall into one of four categories to ensure fair competition:
- Amateur: A non-commercial exhibitor showing blooms for two calendar years, with no limitation on number of plants grown.
- Collector: A non-commercial exhibitor having not more than 25 named varieties.
- Open Collector: A non-commercial exhibitor having more than 25 named varieties.
- Commercial: Any exhibitor that consistently advertises by any means (verbal, visual, print media) that result in conveyance of hibiscus plants or plant material for the exchange of monetary value.
- Single: Blooms Greater Than 5″ Diameter
- Double: Blooms With More Than 5 Petals (Not Including Petaloids)
- Miniature: 5″ Diameter or less
- Seedling: Any Unregistered Cultivar Greater Than 5″ Diameter
- Miniature Seedling: Any Unregistered Cross 5″ Diameter or Less
All exhibitors must be present to enter their blooms, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as illness, and with the prior permission of the Show Director. The only exception to this rule is seedlings. If an exhibitor is growing a seedling for a hybridizer, the grower may enter the seedling with the hybridizer’s name shown as hybridizer, and the grower’s name as the grower.
Flower Show Award Categories
Gold – perfect blooms
Blue – 1st place
Red – 2nd place
Sweepstakes – most perfect blooms in class
Tricolor – best single or double in class
Best of Show – 4 divisions: single, double, miniature, seedling.
Entry Limit – One bloom per cultivar variety for each exhibitor growing location
An exhibitor can only enter one bloom per cultivar (example: if you bring 5 Simple Pleasures blooms only one Simple Pleasures bloom from you can be entered so choose your best one. Feel free to bring as many as you can so you are able to choose the best one you have from that particular cultivar).
Membership in the SCHS is not necessary in order to exhibit blooms at shows, but one must have a plant in one’s possession for at least 30 days before a bloom from it may be entered in a show. Show up early with your blooms on show day and register at the table that will provide you with the forms for the four exhibitor classifications, along with the appropriate exhibitor cards. Figure out which class you fall into and sign up to get an exhibitor number. This number must be included on each exhibitor card you complete for each bloom you enter. All miniature blooms (blooms 5″ or less) use the same exhibitor card regardless of one’s exhibitor classification. Miniatures compete among themselves, not against blooms over 5”. Bloom holders are provided and someone will show you the ropes.
Blooms must be entered at the show by 11:00 am or officially announced cutoff time to be accepted for judging and possible awards. Bloom runners will take your entries to the judges’ tables, where each will be judged as worthy of a Gold Seal or a Blue or Red Ribbon. All Gold Seal blooms become eligible for Head Table honors during final judging. Blue and Red Ribbons are awarded to blooms that are not quite up to perfect standards.
If one does not know the name of a cultivar, and inquiries of fellow exhibitors don’t yield a clue, “Unlisted” may be written on the card for “Name of Variety.”
Gold Seal Room
In the Gold Seal room, off limits to all but show officials, the Show Director will group all Amateur singles together and all Amateur Doubles together. They will do the same for all singles and doubles of the other three classes. Miniature singles and doubles are also separated accordingly. During final judging of all Gold Seal blooms, a bloom from each exhibitor classification and configuration, along with a miniature single and double, receiving the most votes become eligible for the Head Table. There can be run-offs during this process. The votes for “Bests of Show” are taken from the ten blooms left standing. From the four singles judged “best of classification,” the one receiving the most votes becomes the “Best of Show” Single. Same procedure is followed for doubles. The two miniatures (one single and one double) compete for “Best of Show” Miniature. The Gold Seal Room is opened to the public after judging is completed.
Best of Show
When a bloom receives the “Best of Show” award, the bloom in that classification receiving the second highest number of votes moves up to become the “Best of Classification,” such as “Best Open Collector Single”or “Best Amateur Double.”
Seedlings are judged as singles, doubles or miniatures and are not entered in exhibitor classifications. There is no move up of a second-ranking seedling bloom.
The Head Table consists of: Best of Show: Single, Double, Miniature and Seedling; Best Amateur Single and Double; Best Collector Single and Double; Best Open Collector Single and Double; Best Commercial Single and Double; Best Miniature Single and Double; Best Seedling Single, Double and Miniature; Sweepstakes for each of the four classifications (those exhibitors winning the most Gold Seals in their class).