Monday, May 28, 2012

Lady Ferns unfurl in front of my abode

Here are some photos of emerging Northwestern Lady Ferns (Athyrium filix-femina var. cyclosorum) in my front yard. You can definitely see why these are sometimes called “fiddlehead” ferns. The botanical name for the young tightly coiled frond is crozier. (I guess this means that Roman Catholic Bishops don’t carry a shepherd’s staff—they carry a fiddlehead fern.)

Lady Fern is one of the edible fiddlehead ferns.  According to "Alaska Plant Profiles," uncooked Lady Fern croziers contain thiaminase, which is a vitamin B depleting enzyme. Cooking destroys this enzyme and makes the fiddleheads safe to eat.

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