The plant can grow up to 27 1/2 inches (70 cm) tall and 15 3/4 inches (40 cm) wide.
Its young, unopened leaves are harvested in the early spring. They are then soaked overnight, then blanched before using in stews, salads, and in steamed dishes.
The root of the fern can be harvested for its starch.
Some nutritionists now suspect that the plant might be carcinogenic and unsafe for consumption.