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Spring Creek Prairie, Nebraska. Adorned in white, tufted dress, a common milkweed seed waits to be carried away by the gentle breeze of a cool autumn evening in the tallgrass prairie. Common milkweeds are one of several native milkweed species found throughout the prairies and countryside of the Great Plains. A milkweed's rounded clusters of flowers can be striking on the prairie, and range in color from pale pink deep rose and even lavender. Each year, a few clusters on each plant eventually form pods, in which seeds are born and burst forth in the fall when the pods split down the seam. Considered toxic for humans and many animals if eaten raw, cooked parts of certain milkweed species were once a common vegetable staple in the diets of many Plains Indians. Its shoots and pods were added to soups, and its flowers were boiled down to make a kind of syrup.