Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy)

  • Sue Snell
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Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy). Sue Snell. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

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Papaver somniferum (Opium Poppy) seed heads. As in N0021522C - N0021528C. Shows paper wrapped bunch of ripe seed heads. Artistic. Plant with wavy toothed greyish-green leaves and tall stems bearing purple flowers with four petals forming a shallow cup. The central capsule swells to a fleshy-ridged oval with a flat top. Seeds ripen within this capsule. Opium is extracted from the latex of the unripe seed pods and is prepared by drying the latex. Other simple extracts from the whole plant include morphine, codeine, thebaine, heroin and papaverine. Ripe seeds are inocuous and widely used in baking and confectionary.


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