Milkweed Seeds- Asclepias syriaca
Native Americans used this species as a source of fibers and during the World War II children in the northern states were encouraged to collect the seed pods that were processed for the coma, or floss, which was used for flotation in life vests. Today the coma is harvested for use in pillows and insulating comforters.
The inner stems were also used for cordage.
It is the only plant the Monarch butterfly will lay it's eggs on. The plants contain glycosides, when absorbed by monarch butterfly larvae-whose sole source of food is milkweed foliage-make the larvae and adult butterflies toxic to birds and other predators.