Les pavots ont de grandes fleurs solitaires, souvent très colorées, à quatre pétales satinés et légèrement froissés, à sépales caducs. Les étamines sont nombreuses. Le pistil est une capsule le plus souvent courte et renflée, portant à son sommet des stigmates disposés comme les rayons d'un cercle. La plante produit un latex blanc, les feuilles sont pennées ou bipennées. Les pavots contiennent presque tous des alcaloïdes qui peuvent être toxiques, avoir des propriétés somnifères, sédatives ou analgésiques, voire être utilisés comme produits stupéfiants. Les traces de plants les plus anciennes attestées en Europe datent de plus de quatre mille ans et ont été retrouvées en Suisse.
Pavot (January 27, 1942 - June 5, 1975) was an American Thoroughbred Champion racehorse. In a career that lasted from 1944 to 1946 he ran thirty-two times and won fourteen races. He was the leader of his generation in 1944 when he was named American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt. The following year he recorded his most important win in the Belmont Stakes.
Pavot was undefeated in eight starts as a two-year-old in 1944. He was ridden by U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey George Woolf in six of those wins including for his most important races including the Saratoga Special Stakes in which he set a stakes record time that stood for the next thirty-one years. Pavot finished racing early that year with earnings totalling US$180,350 after his resounding win in the September 30th Belmont Futurity from which he emerged with a badly cut hoof that kept him out of racing until June of the following year.
In late April 1945, Pavot was being made ready to run in the Kentucky Derby, delayed that year by a month due to government imposed wartime restrictions. However, he stepped on a pin which interrupted his race conditioning and as a result only made his first start as a three-year-old on June 6, 1945. After more than an eight-month absence from racing, the colt suffered the first loss of his career when he finished second by a nose to Polynesian in the Withers Mile at Belmont Park.