Fiddlehead or Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)

Fiddleheads are found in wooded areas, especially along streams.

  “They are at the right stage for eating only in early spring before the young fronds start to unfurl. They are at this stage throughout the month of May.  Fiddleheads are considered, by many, to be a superb cooked vegetable with a taste of their own. When gathering them, take only those that are less than one foot tall and that have not as yet begun to uncurl. Before cooking take off their outer coverings and wash them. Then let them simmer in boiling water for fifteen to twenty minutes until they are tender. Seasoned with butter or lemon juice, they provide a delicious treat.” (from Edible wild plants of Nova Scotia by Heather MacLeod and Barbara MacDonald)

Do not eat fiddleheads raw as they may be toxic, make sure you cook them properly!

Remember to harvest sustainably by taking only a fraction of what is there, leaving the rest to reproduce.

fiddlehead_2fiddlehead_ fiddlehead in basket