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Papaver.

Papaver nudicaule Linn. Papaveraceae. Arctic Poppy.

This poppy was found by Kane at all the stations on his two voyages to the Arctic seas and it extends probably, he says, to the furthest limit of vegetation. The leaves, and especially the seeds, which are very oleaginous, are a great resort in scorbutic affections and very agreeable to the taste. Pursh gives its habitat as Labrador.

Papaver orientale Linn. Oriental Poppy.

Asia Minor and Persia. This species was observed in the fields about Erzerum, Armenia. This is a very fine species of poppy which the Turks and Armenians call aphion as they do the common opium. They do not extract the opium from this kind but eat the heads as a delicacy when they are green, though very acrid and of a hot taste.

Papaver rhoeas Linn. Corn Poppy. Field Poppy.

Europe, the Orient and north Africa. On the continent of Europe, this poppy is cultivated as an oil plant, the oil being esteemed next to that of the olive. The plant is in French flower gardens.

Papaver somniferum Linn. Opium Poppy.

Greece and the Orient. There are several varieties of the opium poppy, of which the two most prominent are called white and black from the color of their seeds. The opium poppy is a native of the Mediterranean region but is at present cultivated in India, Persia, Asiatic Turkey and occasionally, by way of experiment, in the United States, for the purpose of procuring opium. It is grown in northern France and the south of Germany for its seeds. This poppy is supposed to have been cultivated by the ancient Greeks and is mentioned by Homer as a garden plant. Galen speaks of the seeds as good to season bread and says the white are better than the black. The Persians sprinkle the seeds of poppies over their rice, and the seeds are used in India as a food and a sweetmeat. The seeds are also eaten, says Masters, in Greece, Poland and elsewhere. In France, the seeds are made to yield by expression a bland oil, which is used as a substitute for olive oil. In Sikkim, Edgeworth remarks, the seeds afford oil as well as an agreeable food, remarkably refreshing during fatigue and abstinence. Carpenter says the peasants of Languedoc employ young poppies as food. The Chinese drink, smoke or chew opium to produce intoxication, and this depraved use has extended more or less to other countries.


Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.



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