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Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), fam. Woodsiaceae.
Sometimes found in garden beds of the city, and possibly in the forest, rarely. This fern is most prone to leaf rosettes formation; moreover, all its leaves appear simultaneously in spring, whereas other ferns develop them one-by-one. By the end of summer, in the center of the vegetative leaf (frond) rosette, some spore-bearing fronds appear, which are relatively small and brownish in color. When the spores ripen, these spore-bearing fronds become somewhat reminding of ostrich feather.
The rhizomes infusion is used as astringent and anthelmintic remedy, and the tincture as sedative and antiinflammatory. The spores can be applied as a powder for frostbites, burns, wounds and bruises.
As well as Bracken fern, young vegetative fronds of Ostrich fern (not exceeding 20 cm in length) are edible. No more than half of the total fronds can be collected from each plant in spring. It is considered necessary to boil them at least a few minutes, as soon as possible after picking, to get rid of bitterness and some not very beneficial components.