As a food source these guys have been prepared the same way as an artichoke, the closed buds were considered a delicacy by the Europeans. Their seeds have been crushed, used for baking and roasting. We buy 20 lb. bags of the things for our backyard guests. Highly nutritious. They contain linoleic acid and vitamin E. The polyunsaturated fatty acid content is higher than olive oil. Containing vitamin A and D it makes an excellent antioxidant.
Ever noticed how their little heads follow the sun? Well, Greek mythology talks of Clytie and Apollo. Supposodly Clytie loved Apollo. They were tight for a while then Apollo was off to greener pastures. Clytie sat day after day turning her head to watch Apollo move across the sky in his chariot. O.K girls. A pathetic picture, but can you relate? Anyways the gods finally took pity on the poor fool and turned her into a flower.