OSTRICH FERN = FIDDLEHEADS Here I hold the dry and spent fertile frond of the ostrich fern, the delectable fiddlehead we gather in early spring. Scientifically named Matteuccia struthiopteris, this native American perennial sprouts two kinds of fronds, the non-edible spore producing one I hold here, and the luxurious (though sterile and now gone) green one that can reach five feet in height, and whose new spring growth produces the fiddleheads we gather. Look for these stiff brown beauties now, note where they grow, and return in early spring to see if the fern has produced enough for you to harvest from. As a rule, pick from ferns with at least 4 fronds emerging and take no more than a third of the emerging fronds. For more info on ostrich ferns check this link here.
Also, you might like to introduce this tasty treat into your landscape — it's easy to grow (although a bit slow), prefers a shady moist spot (unlike most other edibles that need sun), and it's deer proof! For more info on growing ostrich ferns check this link here. Do you eat fiddleheads, and if yes, how do you like to prepare them?