Opium Poppy is a plant that can grow in many regions around the world, because its indigenous habitat, Asia Minor, has a temperate climate.  Because of the ability to be grown in temperate climates, Opium is grown all across Europe, Turkey, India, Persia, and China.  The best conditions in which Opium Poppies germinate is a soil temperature between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and an air temperature around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  A good amount of air circulation is recommended for the most prosperous growth of the poppy, as well as plenty of sunlight and sufficient rainfall.   

Opium is often grown in Eastern Europe, and western Asia.  Many other organisms native to this area of the world are St. John's Wart (Hypericum perforatum), Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea), Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus), Jelly Fungi (Auricularia auricula-judae), Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettles), The Pomegranate Tree (Punica granatum), and Ergot (Claviceps purpurea).  Opium is very abundant in the Middle East and Asia for its illegal uses, such as heroine.  Below is a diagram showing the concentration of Opium cultivation in Afghanistan.  Many problems have arisen and articles are all over the internet dealing with the opium cultivation in Afghanistan after US forces overturned Taliban control.  Many honest farmers, forced by the Taliban to cultivate Opium, still rely on the growth of opium as their source of income after the fall of the Taliban.  The problem now is how to stop the Afghanistan drug trade without ruining the livelihood of the farmers.  One of the proposed solutions is to refine the Opium grown in this area and use it for medicinal purposes.

A major reason opium grows so well in these conditions is the fact that opium carries on its reproduction extremely well in this environment. To learn more about the reproductive properties of opium, continue to the Reproduction Page.


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