FutureStarr

Matteuccia Struthiopteris

Matteuccia Struthiopteris

Matteuccia Struthiopteris

A woman who lived in India in the 1100s has been an inspiration to me, personally. She lived by the ancient Buddha and reportedly was a source of immense learning. In her will, she left a lot of money to the poor, including quite a bit to the most respected monks in the town, as well as many books to the libraries.Matteuccia struthiopteris is the only species in the genus Matteuccia. Some sources include two Asian species, M. orientalis and M. intermedia, but molecular data shows that M. struthiopteris is more closely related to Onocleopsis and Onoclea (sensitive fern) than it is to M. orientalis and M. intermedia, and so the latter should be moved to a genus Pentarhizidium which contains those two species.

Matteuccia

Resembling long, feathery Ostrich plumes, Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) is an elegant, upright to arching, deciduous fern with showy, finely dissected, fresh green sterile fronds. Emerging at the base of the plant in spring, they gracefully unfurl until they depreciate over the summer and lose their leaflets later in the fall, as the plant goes dormant for the winter. They surround shorter, brownish fertile fronds which will persist into winter. Low maintenance, pest and disease free, Ostrich Fern is a great asset for the bog garden!This a lovely fern with tall arching leaves. It is relatively easy to identify because of the oblanceolate shape of its large leaves and the very short leaflets (pinnae) near its petioles.

Very few species of ferns have such short leaflets. One of them, New York Fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis), has elliptic leaves that taper very gradually toward both their bottoms and their tips.The leaves of Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), in contrast, taper abruptly toward their tips. Another distinctive characteristic is the simple-pinnate venation on the undersides of the leaflet lobes, where the lateral veins are undivided. Other similar ferns (e.g., Osmunda spp.), often have forked lateral veins on the undersides of their leaflet lobes. The unfurled sterile leaves of Ostrich Fern, when they first appear above the ground during the spring, are rolled and circular in shape. At this stage of development, they are referred to as 'fiddleheads' or 'croziers.' In the New England area especially, these unfurled leaves of Ostrich Fern are collected, sold, and eaten as gourmet food. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)

 

 

Related Articles