A mother and daughter were delighted to see a pair of distinctively sky-blue coloured fungi during a walk through native bush.
Avril Peterson spotted the mushrooms while on a walk with her daughter on the West Coast of the South Island.
They were walking through the Hokitika Gorge when they noticed “two amazing blue mushrooms attached to one of the native trees”.
“I thought I had discovered a new species of mushroom,” she said.
However, the blue mushroom turned out to be Entoloma hochstetteri, found exclusively in New Zealand forests.
The fungi are more commonly seen in wallets and purses as they are featured on the reverse of New Zealand’s $50 note — alongside the endangered kōkako.
The mushrooms were added to the note in the 1990s as a part of a redesign that aimed for “uniquely New Zealand” designs.
Te Ara, the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, points out the striking mushie is more commonly found in lowland conifer–broadleaf forests.