Matteuccia struthiopteris. Fiddleheads are an early spring delicacy. Although most ferns produce fiddleheads, the fresh unfurled fronds of the ostrich fern are the traditional variety and are considered the tastiest. The clusters of fronds can be harvested from late April to early June when the fronds are 2.5 to 5 centimeters above the ground (1” to 2”). Brush off the papery scales with your hands and be sure to rinse thoroughly in water to wash off the remaining scales and any residual soil. Ostrich ferns produce from seven to twelve fronds a year. Harvest only up to half otherwise the plant will not have enough fronds to grow.
Plant in full sun or part shade. Keep the soil consistently moist.