Pity Flowers UPDATED!

My boss sometimes buys me what I like to call “pity flowers” because he feels bad for being such an incompetent person and for me having to babysit a grown-ass man.  Today, he decided to buy me these flowers that are ball sac-shaped, light green, and covered in small hair-like things.  He told me he got them because they’re weird and I’m weird.  He also told me I was never allowed to ask him what they were called.  From Googling, though, it would appear that they are a type of flower known as a “swan flower.”  Here is a picture:


According to Wikipedia, here are some fun facts about the swan plant:

*Also called a balloon plant or balloon cotton-bush

*It is a milkweed native to southeast Africa

*The sacs are described by the Wikipedia writer as “bladder-like”

*They are a food source for caterpillars and monarch butterflies


UPDATE: Apparently at bodegas these are often labeled as “hairy balls.”  This, I’m guessing, is why my boss told me I was never allowed to find out what they’re called.

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