Cut seed capsule of opium poppy

Cut seed capsule of opium poppy

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Caption: Opium poppy seed capsule. Close-up of an opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) seed capsule cut in half, showing hundreds of tiny white seeds. The capsule is borne on a stalk (bottom), with the stigma of the old flower at top. This is the structure from which opium is collected. The out- side of the capsule is slit, causing a milky latex to ooze out. This hardens into a gummy substance on exposure to air, which is then scraped off and rolled into balls. Crude opium contains numerous alkaloids, including the painkiller morphine. Most alkaloids are toxins that defend plants by poison- ing an animal's nervous system.

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Keywords: botany, nature, open, opium, opium poppy, papaver somniferum, part, parts, plant, plants, poppy, reproduction, reproductive, seed capsule, seed-head, seedhead, seeds, structure, type

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