It's milkweed. (I grew up in Iowa, but we have it in Maryland, too.) You can fritter the flower heads while their still buds. You have to bring them to boil and drain first to remove the "milk" which is bitter.
You got it GF! I love to smell these. Didn't know you could eat them though...I'll have to remember that next year. So these are past the eating stage? (I have another patch scoped out. I think it's hilarious that people grow them as ornamentals here)
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