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Matteuccia struthiopteris 2005 spring 002.jpg  Matteuccia struthiopteris4.jpg  Matteuccia struthiopteris (4).JPG

NAME: Fiddlehead Fern

SPECIES / FAMILY:  Matteuccia Struthiopteris / Onocleaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Ostrich Fern

CONDITIONS: shade, moist soil
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots/Frond

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520young

asparagus

RAW/COOK

Spring

Leaves

       

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

 

PEEL/COOK

Fall

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small-medium, only in Spring

 

COMMENT: “Young fronds before they fully unroll, they are thick and succulent…the flavour can be compared to asparagus. Rootstock - peeled and roasted.”(1)
“Fiddleheads under two inches only. Remove any yellow/brown skin, boil sprouts twice with a change of water between boilings. Boil 10 minutes or steam for 20. Gourmets spread a thin layer in a steam basket and steam until just tender crisp.”(2) 

 

CAUTION:  “Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.”(1)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  “Birthing aid; Miscellany. A decoction of the leaf stalk base from sterile fronds has been taken in the treatment of back pain and also to help speed up the expulsion of the afterbirth.”(1)

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES:

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Matteuccia+struthiopteris
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/fiddlehead-fanatics-2/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matteuccia