Papaver somniferum is a species of flowering plant in the family Papaveraceae. It has been both a friend and foe of human civilization. In use since Neolithic times , the sap, known as opium, contains various alkaloids, including morphine and codeine, with effects ranging from pain relief and cough suppression to euphoria, sleepiness, and addiction.

Scientific classitication

Family: Papaveraceae

Genus: Papaver

Common Name

Ying Su, opium poppy


Guo, L., Winzer, T., Yang, X., Li, Y., Ning, Z., He, Z., ... & Ye, K. (2018). The opium poppy genome and morphinan production. Science, 362(6412), 343-347.


Li, Q., Ramasamy, S., Singh, P., Hagel, J. M., Dunemann, S. M., Chen, X., Chen, R., Yu, L., Tucker, J. E., Facchini, P. J., & Yeaman, S. (2020). Gene clustering and copy number variation in alkaloid metabolic pathways of opium poppy. Nature communications, 11(1), 1190.