Papaver somniferum var. nigrum (medicinal poppy). A member of the plant family PAPAVERACEAE. Cultivated annual plant with erect stems, and ovate, coarsely toothed, pale green leaves. Flowers are large, single and white, pink or pale lilac in colour, with a globular or ovoid capsule containing many minute black seeds. The entire plant contains a milky white latex. (The plant is cultivated for poppyseed oil, and its derivatives.)

[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Cattle, (sheep, goats).

[etiology.gif] Etiology
Poisoning, resulting from ingestion of contaminated straw or hay, is unusual.

[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains all the opium alkaloids, but in very small quantities. The entire plant is toxic. Drying does not alter its toxicity.

Clinical features

These features may lead to death in several days, or a satisfactory recovery within a similar time.


No antidote. Symptomatic care only: