What was once packed neatly into pods is now dispersed among open meadows and barren lots. Floss, or fluff, from the common milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca) is shown here, separated from its seeds.
Though too brittle for spinning, the floss was used as fill for life jackets during World War II, substituting fibers from kapok (produced from the tropical tree, Ceiba pentandra).
Pillows stuffed with milkweed floss can be made or purchased, though a blend with down or feathers may yield best results.
And as a side note, while peeking into milkweed pods north of Pittsburgh not too long ago, I was surprised to find several frozen ticks within each pod. If you ever decide to harvest a few seeds before a freeze, thoroughly inspect before bringing any inside the house.