Pioneer Valley Fern Society

Fiddlehead Quiz

Can you identify this fern by its fiddleheads?

Hello all!

There are still quite a number of fiddleheads coming up, at least here in Shutesbury. This is one of my very favorites because of its amazing colors and beauty throughout its growth. I think I can only attach one photo here, so this is the most representative. I will include more on a new photo page this weekend.

This fern is usually found in very wet locations, and is considered an obligate wetland plant. It is also one of the early fiddleheads to come up, starting in early April this year.

They are distinctive with their wine to purple colored stems, orangey wool on the early fiddleheads, and then amazing pink and bright green as the fiddlehead develops.

As many of you admirers of ferns know, this is Royal Fern. Osmunda regalis. One place to see a lot of them is in the wet areas along the Norwottuck Rail Trail in Belchertown.