Our common Milkweeds have a certain strain of beauty and elegance peculiar to themselves. They may be readily distinguished by several conspicuous characteristics which are not likely to be confused with those of any other family. Of course, nearly everybody knows that these plants are filled with a copious, milky fluid or sap that exudes upon the slightest provocation. It is also true, in a way, that something about most of them suggests the conventional type of rubber-plant that has become inseparable from the modern city apartment - more so, at least, than any other of the wild flowers. In the fall, the bursting seed pods expose a silvery, white mass of soft, silky substance of the finest quality. And this fluffy, flossy material is popularly gathered and utilized for filling sofa pillows. The intricate construction of the unique flowers is of unusual interest. They are comparatively small, and are set on slender stems which spring from a common centre and form a well-grouped terminal cluster, known as an umbel. The five-parted calyx is bent abruptly downward from the deeply cleft and five-parted corolla, which is crowned with five erect or spreading hoods seated on the stamen tube, and each of them encloses a little incurving horn. Five short, stout stamens are inserted on the base of the corolla within the crown, and their fringed tips form a tube which incloses the pistil. The broad anthers are united with this tube at their base and form a prominent flat-topped, sticky, five-angled, stigmatic disk. The vertical cells of each anther are tipped with winged membranes containing a flattened, pear-shaped, and waxy pollen mass, hung in pairs from the stigma, like tiny wishbones. These tiny wings become wedged on the feet of bees and are carried by them to other flowers, thus completing a very remarkable means of cross-fertilization, which, by the way, is a very wonderful study in itself.