Milkweed is my favorite weed.
Following text from Backyard Almanac by Weber and Gibbs.
Milkweed’s pink flowers, borne in ball-shaped clusters, bloomed in the heat of Midsummer. At that time these tough plants with the bitter white juice stood along roadsides and meadows where they attracted myriads of insects and spiders. Best known of these are the milkweed bugs, monarchs and skipper butterflies.
The insects moved on as a cold temperatures moved in, and now the brown plants still stand and the showy flower clusters have changed into five or six brown pods. Fat at the bottom, pointed at the top, the rough follicles split open during October’s dry clear days revealing rows of tightly packed seeds. In the winds of autumn and early winter, they loosen, spread tufts of white hairs, and drift over open spaces like tiny parachutes. The open seed pods are usually empty by mid winter. This enchanting wind dispersal spreads the seeds, but most will not germinate. Undeterred, the hearty milkweed lives on in its branching rootstock.
Fluff-filled milkweed pods are very photogenic at this time. When the seeds disbursed, the stock with empty pods can be used in floral arrangements.