Inspired by Tom's (vimeo.com/user19909022) dandelion R&D, I thought I 'd try my own version.
This is the result. It's a fully configurable, procedural system, built around ICE strands. It's set up to react to any external forces applied.
The simulation is shown here in simple strand wireframe, but the components (stem, head, seeds, etc) can easily be instanced with actual geometry. The density of the seeds is also kept low, to better illustrate the dynamic behavior.
Stock ICE, no 3d party tools.