thought someone may make use of this

External image
The breeders guide to Papaver Somniferum.
External image

Papaver Somniferum comes in many different shapes and colors (though one has never seen an orange version) Listed here are some common variety names for some very common species of Papaver Somniferum.

External image
Tasmanian purple.
 Probably the most desirable of the Papaver Somniferum. species for opiate production. This variety has been specifically crossed and inbred for maximum opiate production and has the highest Morphine content of any Papaver Somniferum species. The Tasmanian Purple is responsible for around 30% or more of the worlds legal opiate production for pharmaceutical companies. During and around y2k the C.S.I.R.O held a breeding program so that this particular species produced mainly Thebaine which is used for conversion into Oxycodone and Hydrocodone as well as others, due to cross pollination on the Tasmanian island the Purples from pre-2k are the most desirable. Notes: Medium to large pod size, bleeds well, frost and heat tolerant, very pest resistant, highest opiate content of all poppies.

External image
Burma White.
 (AKA China White). This is probably the next most desirable Papaver Somniferum species and is very commonly used for opiate production throughout S.A.Asia for use in the heroin production industry. The common places for this particular species to occur is Burma, Laos, Cambodia and other S.E.Asian countries especially highland areas. Notes: Medium pod size, fairly frost tolerant, bleeds well, good opiate production.

External image
Turkish White.
 (AKA Persian) This particular species is also used for legal opiate production. It has a comparable Morphine content to that of the Burma White species but has a slightly larger pod size. Not as much research and breeding has gone into this variety as the Tasmanian and therefor more unpredictable opiate contents result. The Tasmanian has a more stable opiate content and therefor produces are more predictable result when used for clandestine opium production. (example: deducing the amount of opiate alkaloids present). Notes: Medium to large pod size, good opiate production, fairly disease resistant, fairly pest resistant, heat tolerant, bleeds well.

External image
Turkish Red.
 This is also used in legal opiate production and sometimes can be seen as a crossbreed due to fields being close together (resulting in pinks, reds and whites - same applies to the above Turkish species)

External image
White Giants
. (AKA Giganthenum). This has resulted from middle eastern production (descended from Persian/Turkish stock) and is also a very high yielding species because of pod sizes mainly. This particular species is also known to be used in the production of illegal opiates for the Heroin industry. This species has probably been bred from the Turkish variety which is also known to produce rather large pods sometimes although not prolifically. Notes: LARGE pod size, medium opiate production, unpredictable heat/frost/pest tolerance, bleeds great, prone to “milk mold”.

External image
Red Giants.
 As above and can/has already crossbred in the same manner resulting in pinks/reds/whites sometimes with multi colors in the same flower.

External image
Pink Giants.
 As above but stabilized breed for Victorian style gardens.

External image
Red Double.
 (AKA Carnation Poppy). Originally just a genetic occurrence with the Turkish and Middle Eastern Reds, was stabilized into a pure breed for Victorian style gardens in England and is a very popular and common cottage garden variety. This variety has been bred by horticulturists for appearance and not for opiate production therefor a very unpredictable opiate content would be present. Notes: Varying pod sizes, unpredictable opiate content, frost and pest resistant, can be prone to “milk mold”

External image
Pink Double.
 As with the Red Double.

External image
Violet Double.
 As with the other doubles.

External image
Asian Red.
 In the times preceding the opium wars, china actually had a stable variety of its own which is probably the same or similar species to the Turkish. Similar in appearance to the Flanders poppy, This red grew to larger sizes and was sometimes referred to as the “red moth” because of the color appearance of the petals (going from red to a dark violet black in the center). Notes: Bleeds great, frost tolerant, small to medium pod size prone to “milk mold”.

External image
Asian pink. As above, probably a crossbreed with the red and white varieties.

External image
Asian White. As above again, probably from Turkish/Middle Eastern decent.

External image
Carnation Poppy. Just a fancy name for the doubles which Victorian Cottage gardeners commonly use.

These are the most common breeds of Papaver Somniferum any input on other species is welcomed as SWIM likes to try and find out about all varieties and ultimately try and find them just for sample and historical value.

Obviously people are going to want to work with the most potent and vigorous varieties. Some of the goals would be ease of growing, ease of acclimatization, Pod size, Opiate content, Disease resistance, heat and frost tolerance and pest resistance. The Tasmanian Purple would be the one of the most desirable to work with as most of that hard work has already been done through years of selective breeding. SWIM has worked with all of these varieties and has had both good and bad results with various of the species. He has had best results with certain species (the obvious ones) but especially when cross bred into another variety.

“hybrid vigor”
The term hybrid vigor applies to 1st generation crossbreeds of any plant species. 99% of the time one would find that a crossbreed between two distinct varieties will produce a plant stock which is (on the majority) superior to both of the previous varieties it was bred from. This occurrence is called “hybrid vigor”. This will be present for quite a few generations until it has stabilized itself into a “breeds true” variety. 

One such example is the “MAUVE MADNESS” breed which SWIM spent a few years on. This was originally a cross between Tasmanian Purple and White Giant, with selected Burma Whites thrown in to the mix because they exhibited traits which SWIM desired to be in his plant. 

Pollen collection and storage.
Pollen is collected by “shaking” flowers into a plastic resealable sandwich bag. Wait until the flowers open up and put a bag over the flower. GENTLY pull the stalk down until it is sort of sideways and shake it. pollen should fall from the flower heads into the plastic bag. Collect as much pollen in this way from all of the plants you can within this breed (the ones which exhibit the traits you want are the most desirable, I.E: plant size, pod size, etc) SWIM started with White Giants and only collected pollen from those which grew the best, had the largest sizes and had no noticeable disease etc etc etc. Basically from the best plants in the batch. The pollen is stored in a dry, cool and dark place. Pollen for SWIM has so far lasted indefinatly in this manner. He still has pollen from Whites which is 10 years old and it is still viable.

Wait until the next season when you grow a different variety, in SWIMs case this was Tasmanian Purple. Wait until your new varieties flowers open and using a small SABLE HAIRED paintbrush paint pollen from the other variety onto the little “stigma’s” (pollen receivers) inside the flower (they look like little feelers from a bug surrounding what will become the pod). This new seed stock (once the pod is harvested) is the 1st generation cross. After this has been achieved you can grow out this new crossbreed. One will find that this stock will have some of the old plants as normal in it but the majority should come out as a cross and grow better, faster, stronger with more disease resistance, pest resistance and better acclimatized to the area it is grown in.

Stabilization of a variety.
After this has occurred you can then start “selective inbreeding”. This is done by growing out your stock and ONLY keeping the plants which exhibit the traits you desire (growth, health, size, etc) all other plants are thinned out from the group and eliminated before flowers can open and contaminate the others with undesired pollen. It usually takes around 2 or 3 generations to achieve stabilization of a breed. One will know that it is a stable breed because all plants will “breed true” prolifically throughout the group.

Herb of the Week-Poppy

Opium Poppies are the most well known of the Papavar family as far as medicinal uses. Historically, Opium derived from these poppies been used medicinally mainly for pain relief and sedation, always by eating or smoking the Opium. Today, derivatives of Opium Poppies (one of the most cultivated medicinal herbs in existence) are used in many familiar medications that are strictly controlled by the government because of their addictive properties. These include morphine, heroin, and codeine, to name just a few familiar ones.

The list of well-known people who have used Opium recreationally or for inspiration in their work is long, and includes such notables as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles Dickens, Pablo Picasso, and Edgar Allen Poe. The high produced by ingesting or smoking raw opium is described as a sensual and relaxing, with everything seeming more vivid and colorful.

The Corn Poppy has been used through history as a remedy for bronchitis, colds, coughs, to loosen congestion, and as a mild sedative, though scientific proof of these benefits seems sketchy at this point. Crushed, fresh or dried flower petals are used in a tea for these purposes - about 2 teaspoons per cup in boiling water up to three times per day.

The California Poppy has been used traditionally mainly as a remedy for toothaches (the root cut and the juices applied directly), and as a tea for headaches, anxiety, and insomnia. Children seem to benefit from this for mild cases of colic, sleeplessness, and tension or anxiety. Prepare as above for these conditions.

Keep reading