Growing Artichokes (Globe)

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05 Jun 13 stella hebden (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted a number of globe artichokes last year, they died down over summer, but are now (early June) looking really healthy. My question is: I have one that is quite different to the others, - they were all the same last year, this one has softer, less spiky leaves, and has a flower forming at the beginning of winter, whereas the regular ones haven't, and I wouldn't expect them to. I have searched images, and it looks like one of the 'improved hybrid' varieties. So... what may have happened? How do I know if it is edible? TIA!!
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