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.