Scientific Name: Matteuccia struthiopteris or pensylvanica
The scientific name Struthiopteris comes from the Latin (struthio = ostrich) and the Greek (pteris = wing).
Shoots of the Ostrich Fern resemble the head of a fiddle... hence the name Fiddlehead Fern.
This is a very popular seasonal delicacy in rural New England.
Many other fern shoots are eaten, but they have varying levels of safety.
- Cooked shoots (a.k.a "Fiddleheads") - steamed, sauteed, boiled
- Dipped in beer batter and fried!
- Ornamental plant
- Shade plant
- Wet soil plant
- Pond edge plant
- Groundcover (plant Ostrich Ferns 2-4 feet apart for groundcover)
- Reports of roots being edible after being peeled and cooked
- Native food source for a few caterpillars of moths and butterflies
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS PLANT
GROWING CONDITIONS FOR THIS PLANT