I sometimes do a little research on subjects that I post here. Most times I'm surprised at the tidbits of information I discover. We have a substantial patch of milkweed growing just to the west of the house - it wasn't there when we moved here about 7 years ago. You probably wouldn't want this on a city lot, but on 77 acres I can leave it as a point of interest. If you've never smelled the fragrance of milkweed in bloom then you need to experience it next spring.
Apparently milkweed is a source of food for monarch butterfly larvae. But what surprised me was that the hairs on which the seeds are distributed by the wind are excellent for use as a hypoallergenic (non allergy producing) insulator, even better than down feathers. In fact over 5,000 tons were collected and used in WWII for this purpose - that's a LOT of milkweed seed pods if you've ever seen them!
(by the way, my blog header shows hairs and seeds from a ripened pod about to be launched on their mission)
(70-200mm f8 1/125 sec ISO200)
an early-opened pod with a bug trapped inside:
(70-200mm f8 1/40 sec ISO200)
most of ours are like these - not ripe yet:
(70-200mm f5 1/50 sec ISO200)
a seed attached to the hairs - ready for flight: