This is a picture of the dried fertile fronds of the Ostrich fern after it has released its spore. Unlike other types of ferns that dry up and fall to the ground, the fertile fronds of the Ostrich fern will remain standing for years. These fronds are sometimes harvested for dried floral decorations. When searching for Fiddleheads in the spring, we look for these standing fronds as indicators to tell us that there are fresh Fiddleheads in that area.
According to scientists, Fiddleheads are well on their way to being the next Superfood.
Nutritionally, the Fiddlehead is similar to spinach, which we know as being "a good for you" vegetable, explains Dr. DeLong. The total antioxidant activity in Fiddleheads is twice that of blueberries, adds Dr. DeLong. Unlike spinach, Fiddleheads contain EPA omega-3 fatty acids, as well as high concentrations of antioxidants. Both omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants have proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, which make them very useful in the treatment and prevention of many diseases.