Ostriches in the Woods?

All along this trail are Ostrich Ferns. The scientific name, Matteuccia struthiopteris reflects the resemblance of this plant’s beautiful plume-like fronds to Ostrich feathers; “Struthio” is the Ostrich genus and “pteris” is Greek for fern!  Fern fronds uncoil from “fiddleheads” and when mature, the green fronds of Ostrich Ferns stand more than a metre tall. Spores are produced in separate spike-like, brown fertile fronds that arise in mid-summer. These remain visible all winter, adding hits of architectural beauty to the trail in that season. The spores, released in early spring, are dispersed by wind.