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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 7 | Papaveraceae | Papaver

1. Papaver somniferum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 508. 1753.

罂粟 ying su

Herbs, annual, 30-60(-100) cm tall (to 1.5 m in cultivation), glabrous or rarely slightly setose on plant below or on peduncle. Taproot erect, almost conical. Stems erect, glaucous, glabrous, occasionally somewhat setose. Leaves alternate; blade ovate or oblong, 7-25 cm, both surfaces glabrous, glaucous and rather waxy, veins distinct, slightly raised, base cordate, margin irregularly undulate-serrate, apex acuminate to obtuse; leaves below shortly petiolate but above sessile and amplexicaul. Flowers solitary, deeply cup-shaped, 5-12 cm in diam. Pedicel to 25 cm, glabrous or rarely sparsely setose. Flower buds nutant at first, erect at anthesis, oval-oblong or broadly ovoid, 1.5-3.5 × 1-3 cm, glabrous. Sepals 2, green, broadly ovate, margin membranous. Petals 4, white, pink, red, purple, or various, often with a dark basal blotch, suborbicular or almost flabellate, 4-7 × 3-11 cm, margin undulate or variously lobed. Stamens many; filaments white, linear, 1-1.5 cm; anthers yellowish or cream, oblong, 3-6 mm. Ovary green, spherical, 1-2 cm in diam., glabrous; stigmas 5-12(-18), actinomorphic, united into compressed disk, disk margin deeply divided, lobes crenulate. Capsule brown when mature, spherical or oblong-elliptic, 4-9 × 4-5 cm, glabrous. Seeds many, black or deep gray, adaxially alveolate. Fl. Mar-Aug. 2n = 18, 22-23, 25, 32.

Cultivated at many medicinal institutes in China and also illegally [cultivated in Afghanistan, India, Laos, Myanmar, and N Thailand; native to S Europe where it is also widely cultivated ornamentally and for the pharmaceutical industry].

This species is the source of heroin, morphine, and other alkaloids used in the drug trade and in medicine. The seeds are widely used as a condiment.


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