Also known as the Ostrich fern is a Maine delicacy that appears in the early April and May. The botanical name for the ostrich fern is Matteuccia struthiopteris. Gather your fiddleheads in early spring, as soon as they appear within an inch or two of the ground. Carefully brush out and remove the brown scales. Be sure to cook fiddleheads thoroughly before eating (boil them for at least 10 minutes.