ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska isn't known for it's abundance of agriculture, but that could be changing thanks to a popular flower.
The Williams family is promoting what they say could be Alaska's next cash crop, the Peony flower.
"Peonise will live over 50 years, and once they're fully developed they get 30 to 50 blooms on them," said Meghan Williams. "Birds and insects don't like to eat them because they're slightly toxic."
Williams and her family started Eaglesong Peony Farm three years ago, 40 miles northwest of Anchorage an area only accessible by plane.
Once harvested, the flowers are brought to the Anchorage Airport where they can be shipped anywhere in the world. Peony season ends in late June in most of the rest of the world, except in Alaska where they grow through August.
"They are also in high demand with a lot of florists, and they're a perfect wedding flower, a lot of the weddings are happening later on in the summer, all over the world," said Williams. "It's a big cultural flower over in Asia, it's very important for a lot of festivals."
The potential for Peonies was realized more than a decade ago when Senator Ted Stevens landed a grant for the University of Alaska Fairbanks to study the viability of flower farming in the state.