July 13, 2001

Effects of Maturity and Plant Spacing

This article investigates the effects that plant spacing and pod maturity have on the alkaloid content of Opium Poppies. Two varieties of opium poppy were grown under irrigation for one season, and their capsules analysed for morphine content by gas chromatography. The results may surprise you.

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Poppy Cultivation in the Soviet Union

Russian Opium Poppy cultivation techniques are studied. Makes for an excellent tutorial on the more technical aspects of Opium Poppy cultivation.

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High Thebaine Somniferum Strain

United States Patent: 6,067,749: There is disclosed an improved poppy straw of a stably reproducing Papaver somniferum for the extraction of thebaine and/or oripavine, the threshed straw having thebaine and oripavine constituting about 50% by weight or greater of the alkaloid combination consisting of morphine, codeine, thebaine and oripavine.

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Analasys of Morphine Yield in Various Poppies

Various papaver varieties were tested for the presence or absence of morphine by method of paper chromatography. The chromosome numbers of various species were counted. Further, for varieties or strains of P. somniferum, the morphine content was determined for the purpose of the plant breeding, chiefly by method of paper chromatography and spectrophotometry. The morphine content of commercial opiums produced by the Japanese cultivators in the crop seasons of 1953/54 and 1954/55 are summarized in this paper.

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Responses of Papaver Somniferum To Photoperiod

The main objective of this study was to examine the light reactions of poppy to find lighting or other procedures that might indefinitely delay flowering in the field or induce it in plants too small to be of narcotic value. A further objective was to find ways to induce flowering at desired times in plants grown out of season or out of their natural geographic environment.

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Environmental effects on morphine content

Ten cultivars of opium poppy were tested for morphine content during the past five years at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. Techniques employed to determine the adaptive potential (Finlay and Wilkinson, 1963; Eberhart and Russel, 1966), relative stability and environmental interaction showed the significant varietal differences when the cultivars' mean square was tested over pooled deviations as the error term. Significant V-X -E(linear) component suggests the existence of genetically conditional differences in the stability of cultivars. Highest morphine content was observed in cultivar H and least in R. Four cultivars exceeded the grand mean. Within the five-year study period three were observed to have given the highest morphine content.

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Detection of Morphine in Papaver Setigerum

There have been some reports of finding morphine in plants other than Papaver somniferum but they were later found to be incorrect. Fulton ([9] ) concluded in 1944 that. "At most, two or three very close relatives of P. somniferum (in the section Mecones of genus Papaver) possibly also produce morphine, but as they have not been analysed even this extension is in doubt and it is really probable only for Papaver setigerum" and further, "of some twenty-eight species of Papaver that have been examined for chromosome numbers, only P somniferum and P. setigerumhave the number 11 or a multiple [of this number] ([10] ) Perhaps these are the only opium poppies. It seems fairly certain that Papaver setigerum is a true opium poppy; yet there do not seem to be any reports of actual chemical analyses". Fulton's statements summarize the facts which led to the investigation contained in this document.

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The Cultivation of the Opium Poppy in Turkey

Information on Turkish Opium Poppy production, including climate and soil conditions, studies of the various somniferum varieties grown there, and the properties of Turkish Opium.

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The Cultivation of the Opium Poppy in India

A detailed study on the history of, and practices and techniques used in Opium Poppy cultivation throughout India.

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Effects of Vegetation Cycle on P. Somniferum

Poppy cultivars of different origin were investigated in long-term experiments. The production ability of plants was established with both spring and autumn sowing, using different plant spacing (20 cm x 20 cm and 50 cm x 20 cm).

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An Introduction to the Opium Poppy

This first article for the new Botany section of the Library contains a fairly detailed botanical introduction to the species Papaver Somniferum, aka the Opium Poppy.

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