Good thing I didn’t eat any of the “supposed” fiddlehead ferns I found yesterday, because I think I found some legit ones today.
Something was bothering me yesterday regarding those ferns I found. While they met two of the three criteria for being ostrich ferns, they fronds were still green. They had been all Winter. Edible fiddleheads have dried, dead fronds. Due to this, more research was necessary.
I found a nice site this morning that described native ferns to the New England area. While I haven’t exactly determined what we have out in the wetlands, I have discovered that multiple ferns have a grooves in their stems. For instance, the hayscented, bracken, new york, ostrich, christmas, lady, marginal wood, intermediate wood and the spinulose wood ferns all have grooves. This doesn’t make for easy identification. I need to go through these and find which fronds stay green all Winter. Then I think I’ll have what I’m looking for, but I don’t think they’ll be edible.
What I found this morning, I believe, is the real ostrich fern. Take a look at these fronds.
And take a look at the fiddleheads themselves.
Basically, I need to do more homework. I need to identify all the ferns on the property, for sure, and then identify, 100%, that these fiddleheads shown above are in fact the edible ostrich fern. Of course, by the time I do this, the foraging season will have passed, so I’ll have to wait for next year. Again.