Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Ostrich Fern (Fiddlehead Fern) (Matteuccia struthiopteris): Images

Date Location Notes Images
June 30, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire Finally! It took me forever to find this fern! But I'll be enjoying fiddleheads next Spring. Here are a couple of key identifying features:
  • Tall fronds (leaves).
  • Lower leaflets get smaller going down the stem, so that the lowest leaflets are very small.
  • Sori is on a separate copper-brown fertile frond that is much smaller. It develops in the Summer and remnants can be found in the Winter and Spring. See pictures near the bottom of the table for images of an dead fertile frond.
  • Very large red-brown scales on the stipe (stem) and fiddlehead.
  • Fronds grow in a circular pattern.
  • Large and very deep grove in the stipe and fiddlehead stem.
Date Location Notes Images
May 5, 2013 Southeastern, New Hampshire I found Ostrich Fern fiddleheads in the same location that I found Ostrich Fern last June. Notice some distinguishing characteristics:
  • Large amount of light brown, papery scales attached to the stem.
  • Growing in a rossette (circular pattern).
  • The stalk (frond) has a deep, wide groove on one side (much deeper and wider than on Wood Fern species)