Fiddlehead Fern

 Fiddlehead ferns

We have an Ostrich Fern growing in the flowerbed in front of our house.  As they are coming up in the spring, the fronds unfurl as you see here.

Fern frondsThe shape of those fronds give the plant it’s other name of Fiddlehead Fern.  This was the first year I heard that name as Mark mentioned it one day. 

I read this article and learned that these are even edible, that they might taste kind of like asparagus. 

I would be interested to know if any of you have ever tasted these!   As for me, no, I’d rather watch them unfold into ferns.

8 Replies to “Fiddlehead Fern”

  1. Hi Deborah!
    Yes! I too have been curious for years about eating fiddleheads, but usually miss their short season. I am surrounded by woods now at our new place, and ferns. So this spring i read up carefully on them. Some are not as edible as others. I have bracken ferns…. which are not the best to eat. But also some Maiden Hair. So I snapped off a few shoots… washed them up and sautéed them in butter. Actually, I wasn't so impressed. I was hoping for an asparagus flavor. Not. Maybe I cooked them wrong? I will try again. I love to forage and try the wild foods. I do find morels now and then. And I really like Chaga… a fungus that grows on Birch trees that you steep into tea. It's REALLY good…. and SO healthy! 🙂 I'm scouting that now, for a fall harvest.

    1. correction: not Maiden Hair…. I was looking at so many ferns I was getting the names mixed up! My wild ferns do look like Ostrich after all. 😉

  2. No eating for me – they are too sci-fi/alien to consider putting on my plate. 🙂 But your images capture their unusual beauty wonderfully.

  3. I had fiddleheads once in a restaurant here in Maine. It was the vegetable accompaniment for their special of the night, and since I'd long been curious, I couldn't resist the chance to try them. I enjoyed them and would probably have them again if they were offered, just because….well, just because. I didn't think they tasted like asparagus, though the texture was a bit similar.

  4. Ferns are so amazing to watch as they unfurl! The top image reminds me of a group gathering to pray. I don't think I could eat them. Wonder why? I eat lettuce and cabbage and all other kinds of things that grow in the ground. Maybe it's because they grow in the wild?

  5. I love the plant almost as much as its name. My mother has one of these on her porch and it's a slightly different variety but still curves deliciously. 🙂

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