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.)
Animals most affected
Cattle, (sheep, goats).
Poisoning, resulting from ingestion of contaminated
straw or hay, is unusual.
Contains all the opium alkaloids, but in
very small quantities. The entire plant is toxic. Drying does not alter its toxicity.
- extreme excitation, pawing the ground, lowing or bellowing with hyperpnoea, followed
- anorexia, lack of rumination, flatulence, salivation and constipation;
- depression with coma, dyspnoea, blindness.
These features may lead to death in several days, or a satisfactory recovery within
a similar time.
- congestion of the intestine and the CNS;
- degeneration of the heart and liver.
No antidote. Symptomatic care only:
- cardiac tonics, caffeine.