Ostrich fern

Impressive fern

Ostrich fern © Jussi Helimäki

Founds in lush and wet herb-rich forests, the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) is an impressive sight, forming extensive, uniform stands. While ferns usually hide their spore-forming parts, or sporangia, under their leaves, the sporangia of the ostrich fern are contained in separate leaves.

The ostrich fern is a popular ornamental species, with seedlings readily available from gardening shops. The young and curled spring shoots of the ostrich fern can be used similarly to asparagus.