Long green curled-up arm,
Rounded green fingers clasping
Little brown circles.
This is the curled up tip of a large/giant fern, which is the approximate size of your fist.
I have been seeing many of these on my visit to New Zealand again, this being my first time to go in their spring time.
Every time I look at these “heads,” I am constantly amazed at the intricate detail of the fern leaves that will grow to their much larger size as the stem uncurls over time. They all look like wondrous works of art – with tiny nautilus shapes!
A friend asked me, as he was wondering, whether these unfurled fern heads are edible, similar to the MUCH smaller fiddleheads that are harvested in parts of Canada during our spring time and are considered a tasty dish. My kiwi friend explained that yes indeed, these giant-sized fernheads can be steamed and eaten.
And here they are called pungers, which sounds like “pungas.”