Matteuccia struthiopteris

Matteuccia struthiopteris
Ostrich fern
Sterile fronds in summer
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Polypodiales
(unranked): Eupolypods II
Family: Onocleaceae
Genus: Matteuccia
Species: M. struthiopteris
Binomial name
Matteuccia struthiopteris
(L.) Todaro
  • Matteuccia pensylvanica


  • Matteuccia pennsylvanica (common misspelling)
  • Onoclea struthiopteris
  • Pteretis nodulosa[2]

The ostrich fern or shuttlecock fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) is a crown-forming, colony-forming fern, occurring in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in eastern and northern Europe, northern Asia and northern North America.

Osterich Fern Foliage
Spore-bearing fertile fronds in early spring

It grows from a completely vertical crown, favoring riverbanks and sandbars, but sends out lateral stolons to form new crowns. It thus can form dense colonies resistant to destruction by floodwaters.

The fronds are dimorphic, with the deciduous green sterile fronds being almost vertical, 100-170 cm tall and 20-35 cm broad, long-tapering to the base but short-tapering to the tip, so that they resemble ostrich plumes, hence the name. The fertile fronds are shorter, 40-60 cm long, brown when ripe, with highly modified and constricted leaf tissue curled over the sporangia; they develop in autumn, persist erect over the winter and release the spores in early spring.

Matteuccia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Sthenopis auratus.


Cultivation and uses

The ostrich fern is a popular ornamental plant in gardens. While choosing a place of planting it should be taken into account that these ferns are very expansive and its leaves often lose their beauty throughout the summer, especially if not protected from wind and hail. The tightly wound immature fronds, called fiddleheads, are also used as a cooked vegetable, and are considered a delicacy mainly in rural areas of northeastern North America.[citation needed] The young shoots can also be eaten raw in salads or as a snack in the field.[2]

The plants are also grown in Japan, where the sprouts ("kogomi" in Japanese)[3] are a delicacy.


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. [4] Formerly classified as a member of the Dryopteridaceae, Matteuccia has been reassigned to the new much smaller family Onocleaceae.

Matteuccia struthiopterisshowing shape and size of fronds


  1. ^ Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (Willdenow) C. V. Morton, Flora of North America
  2. ^ a b Elias, Thomas; Dykeman, Peter (1982), Edible Wild Plants, New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., p. 58, ISBN 9781402767159 
  3. ^ LaPointe, Rick (21 April 2002). "Let us go fiddlehead foragin', but carefully". The Japan Times (Tokyo). Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  4. ^ GJ Gastony and MC Ungerer (1997), "Molecular systematics and a revised taxonomy of the onocleoid ferns (Dryopteridaceae: Onocleeae)", American Journal of Botany 84 (6): 840–849, doi:10.2307/2445820, 


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Matteuccia struthiopteris —   Matteuccia struthiopteris …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Matteuccia struthiopteris — fiddlehead fid dle*head n. 1. any of several tall ferns of northern temperate regions having graceful arched fronds and sporophylls resembling ostrich plumes. Syn: ostrich fern, shuttlecock fern, {Matteuccia struthiopteris}, {Pteretis… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Matteuccia struthiopteris — noun tall fern of northern temperate regions having graceful arched fronds and sporophylls resembling ostrich plumes • Syn: ↑ostrich fern, ↑shuttlecock fern, ↑fiddlehead, ↑Pteretis struthiopteris, ↑Onoclea struthiopteris • Hypernyms: ↑fern …   Useful english dictionary

  • Matteuccia struthiopteris — ID 52227 Symbol Key MAST Common Name ostrich fern Family Dryopteridaceae Category Fern Division Pteridophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AK, CT, DC, IA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica — paupinio jonpaparčio pensilvaninis varietetas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Vudsijinių šeimos daržovinis, dekoratyvinis augalas (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica), paplitęs Šiaurės Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Matteuccia… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Todaro — многол.; IX Сем. Polypodiaceae – Многоножковые 2. Род Matteuccia Todaro – Страусник 2. Страусник обыкновенный Сероольшаники, исключительно вдоль ручьев. Часто, по всему заповеднику …   Флора Центрально-лесного государственного заповедника

  • Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Todaro — Symbol MAST Common Name ostrich fern Botanical Family Dryopteridaceae …   Scientific plant list