Pioneer Valley Fern Society

Fiddlehead Quiz

Can you identify this fern by its fiddleheads?

Cinnamon Fern Fiddlehead

Hello all,

Here is a beautiful and unusual fiddlehead for you to check out. Some ferns have fairly ordinary fiddleheads, but this one is amazing. This is the fiddlehead of a common native, Cinnamon Fern. We have never noticed this phase of this fiddlehead until this year! The little white tufts along the stem (rachis) remain and are indicators we use later (among others) to identify Cinnamon from Interrupted fern. They become the little cinnamon-brown colored tufts of hair at the base of each pinnae or leaflet (the "hairy arm pits"). Isn't that cool?

Fiddlehead update: There are probably not many of these Cinnamon fiddleheads still at this stage in the field now. But there are still many new Lady and Hay Scented ferns just coming up in our area. In the Valley they may be fully out. The Marsh ferns just came out on our road a week ago. They are growing fast. We just found the first Massachusetts fern fiddleheads and new little ferns last week. We are still waiting for the Woodwardias (Chain ferns) to come out!

Send us photos of interesting ferns or fiddleheads!

We are still hoping to be able to hold some fern walks this year. Maybe September if not before.

Stay well, and wear your masks on the trails!