Fern, ostrich

Matteuccia struthiopteris
A large fern with 4-5’ arching fronds arranged in a circle. The fronds are widest near the tip and gradually taper toward the base. They are twice-cut into leaflets and sub-leaflets, the latter oblong and forward-pointing. The stalks are dark brown. The fertile leaves are shorter, about 2’ tall, and in the center of the circle of sterile leaves. The fertile leaves are cut into leaflets that hug the stalk and clasp the fruit dots, forming hard “pods”. Found in wet areas along streams and ponds, in swamps.