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186. Rhoeas.—Red poppy.

Botanical name:

186. RHOEAS.—RED POPPY. The petals of Papa'ver rhoe'as Linné, the red or corn poppy of our gardens, growing abundantly as a wild plant in Europe. Nearly round, 50 mm. (2 in.) broad, contracted below into a short blackish claw; when fresh, they are of a scarlet-red color, but become brownish-purple on drying, and have an opium-like odor and a somewhat bitter taste. All parts of the plant contain the alkaloid rhoeadine, which produces interesting reactions with acid and alkalies. It does not appear to be poisonous. Acid solutions produce a purple color, which disappears when neutralized. One part of the alkaloid produces a deep purple with 10,000 parts of water, rose with 20,000, and a perceptible redness with 800,000 parts. According to Hesse, the milky juice also contains meconic acid. Red poppy is a weak and uncertain opiate; used in pharmacy almost wholly in the fresh state for coloring preparations.


A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.



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