Guess what this is...
A "Wild Cotton" milkweed seed pod.
I suddenly noticed the pod while walking around the backyard the other day. It is about 1 1/2 inches long. This is the first time I've seen a seed pod on this milkweed plant.
For the past 10 years we've had several kinds of milkweed growing in large pots in the backyard. I had once ordered the seeds from a national foundation that promotes growing food for monarch butterflies. This plant is the product of one of the seeds.
We were fortunate one year to have attracted a monarch butterfly that laid her eggs on one of the narrow leaf milkweed plants. The eggs hatched tiny yellow/white/black striped caterpillars that developed into beautiful butterflies.
Although this particular milkweed plant is a native of South Africa, it is really thriving in its pot. It produces clusters of pale pink and white flowers in the summertime, that attracts bees.
But since I am an advocate of growing native plants to provide habitat and nourishment for native wildlife, I am considering the removal of this particular milkweed this year. Or maybe I should just be cutting the plant back every winter.