Opium poppies (Papaver somniferum)

Opium poppies (Papaver somniferum)

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Credit: BOB GIBBONS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) flowers and seed heads in a field. 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 Bere Regis, Dorset, UK.

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