This is not a true oyster. It is 2–3 in. across, with a thin, wrinkled upper valve varying in colour from white to golden orange, but the lower valve, usually flat, is greenish or white with an oval hole through it. Through this opening is a calcified extension of the foot, which fastens the shellfish securely to some solid object such as rock, larger shells, or even wharf piles. The golden valves can be fashioned into very realistic imitation Iceland poppies.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.