Archive | 10:20 pm

Ostrich ferns on the floodplain

17 May

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Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) at this stage in its growth this fern is considered unsafe to eat. Usually there will still be some younger plants suitable for eating as you move away from the water’s edge into shader areas often covered by last years layer of tall grass.

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Here are some young edible (when cooked) Ostrich fern fiddleheads which  actually were the first wild plant I started to gather back in the late 70s as it was the only wild food local grocery stores in the surrounding small towns in my area were very eager to buy. In those days I would usually gather around 500 lbs of fiddleheads starting around mid May and ending a few days before June.

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Another patch of almost full grown Ostrich ferns which again are now inedible but the green plants under the ferns are an interesting edible plant known as Trout-lily.

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A closer look  at Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum), these plants have already lost their early blooming yellow flowers and a seed head has formed as you can see. Here is some more info on the Trout-lily from White Wolf’s  YouTube video if you are interested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kgO-k-P26A

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Lastly here is the plant I actually came to this area to find today, as I’m looking for some seeds from some of last years stems to grow some tender young leaves. You’ve all seen this plant or its smaller relative around, below is a photo of one of the old last year stems, you may need to click on the photo to enlarge to notice the seed heads, it is a bit of an eye test. I’ll do a post on this plant a little later on..

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