Back to: Nature online

Seeds of Trade

 
-

Product: Opium Poppy

Other products:  
   Opium Poppy belongs to these categories: Important drugs, Recreation products
   and originated in Eurasia

 SUMMARY
 WILD RELATIVES
 ORIGINS
 EARLY USES
 TRANSFER AND SPREAD
 AGRICULTURE
 MODERN CONTEXT
  POST HARVEST


OPIUM

Papaver somniferum L. (Papaveraceae).

Given its scientific name by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753 from plants cultivated in European gardens; the name commemorates its narcotic properties.

Native to the Mediterranean region, in Europe and North Africa.

Life form: annual herb.

Parts used: latex collected for production of opium; seeds used for oil and in cooking.

Ploidy level: most often diploid, some haploid strains.

  

Specimen from the Clifford Herbarium at the Natural History Museum, London. (Papaver somniferum L. - Opium Poppy)