Ferns and Fiddleheads

This fern is one of many found in the woods around our house.  It has a fuzzy appearance, but only for a short period.

Many ferns reappear each spring in a shape referred to as a “fiddlehead.”  I love the sound of that… fiddlehead.  It almost sounds like a cute name you’d call a toddler.  Fiddleheads are basically the fronds growing in a coil fashion.  They eventually relax, and uncoil into the beautiful and graceful form you think of as a fern.

Here are some facts about ferns.

Fronds “FROND refers to the whole fern “leaf” that rises from the roots.” [source:  Ontario Ferns]
Fiddleheads are the fronds that start out growing in a tightly coiled shape.
Ostrich Fern Fiddleheads are eaten as a delicacy in many parts of the world.  [source: The University of Maine]
Spores are the reproduction means of ferns, and look like brown spots under the leaf.
Rhizomes Some plants have bulbs, some seeds, and so on.  A rhizome is “a creeping stem lying, usually horizontally, at or under the surface of the soil and differing from a root in having scale leaves, bearing leaves or aerial shoots near its tips, and producing roots from its undersurface.” [source: Your Dictionary]
Lighting Requirements Most outdoor ferns love shade, with dappled sunlight, while indoor ferns prefer lots of light.
9,000-20,000 is the number of fern species there are, depending on the source you read.

 

Do you know any interesting facts about ferns you can share?

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