Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)

Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)

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Credit: ADRIAN BICKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) flower. Close-up of an opium poppy showing seed head formation (green). This poppy is the source of opium, a narcotic resin that contains the alkaloids morphine and codeine. These are used by the pharmaceutical industry as painkillers (analgesics). Opium can be refined to yield the illegal drug heroin. Photographed near Blandford, Dorset, UK.

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