We will be rolling out several small fixes mid-day today (Jan 29.) We do not anticipate any disruptions or problems, but f you spot any unexpected issues after 12 noon (PST), please report them in the designated thread in the DG Site Updates forum.
I've never grown cardoon so don't know the real answer to your question.
However, usually plants that have fluffy stuff (like dandelions) have seeds that are dispersed by wind. The seeds themselves should be at the bottom end of the fluffy stuff, probably encased in a protective coating of some kind.