Peonies set to become cash crop for Alaska
July 30th, 2010
A four-day conference of peony growers in Alaska last week concluded that the flower could become a major cash crop for the state in the future.
The Peony Conference, organised by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and sponsored by the Georgeson Botanical Garden and the Alaska Peony Growers Association, attracted almost 70 delegates when it was held last week.
Peonies bloom from late June to September in Alaska, when they are dormant in the rest of world, making the northerly state the perfect exporter for this time of year.
Professor Thomas M. Davis, from the University of New Hampshire, said Alaska was “operating in a state of Eden,” because of the lack of diseases in its peonies and the fact that there is not much competition. “That’s going to change if the industry is successful,” he added. “Obviously it has appeal as a potentially profitable horticulture product.”
Alaska has 41 peony growers at the moment but the number is growing.