Sow thistle is a relative of the dandelion and every winter, I get them in my yard. One year I noticed that several lesser goldfinches were on the plant, eating something. I looked closer and found that, at the base of the puffy white ball there were tons of thistle seeds. So, every winter when I see them coming up, I let them survive to feed the lesser goldfinches that come to my yard. I doubt that there are too many thistle seeds left for the sow thistle to take over my yard. I do like seeing the finches eating on the plant. I feed them thistle seed from the feed store, but here they are getting the real thing.
I found this photo on Google. See the tiny thistle seeds at the base of the puffy ball.
That is what the goldfinches were eating.
Makes me think of me digging in and eating an artichoke. Sometimes, I get a bit of stringy fibers in my mouth!!