Bill white. Iris hazel. Bare orbital space whitish. Feet pale flesh-colour, claws dusky. Fore part of the head and the cheeks bright scarlet, that colour extending over and behind the eye, the rest of the head and the neck pure bright yellow; the edge of the wing bright yellow, spotted with orange. The general colour of the other parts is emerald-green, with light blue reflections, lighter beneath. Primary coverts deep bluish-green; secondary coverts greenish-yellow. Quills bluish-green on the outer web, brownish-red on the inner, the primaries bright yellow at the base of the outer web. Two middle tail-feathers deep green, the rest of the same colour externally, their inner webs brownish-red. Tibial feathers yellow, the lowest deep orange.
Length 14 inches, extent of wings 22; bill along the ridge 1 1⁄12, gap, measured from the tip of the lower mandible, ½; tarsus 5⁄6, middle toe 1¼.
Adult Female. Plate XXVI. Fig. 2, 2, 2.
The female is similar to the male in colour. The upper figure represents a kind of occasional variety, with fourteen tail-feathers. The specimen from which the drawing was taken was shot at Bayou Sara, in Louisiana.
Young Bird. Plate XXVI. Fig. 3.
The young bird is known by the comparative shortness of the tail, and the uniform green colour of the head.
Xanthium Strumarium, Willd. Sp. Pl. vol. iv. p. 373. Pursh. Flor. Amer. vol. ii. p. 581. Smith, Engl. Fl. vol. iv. p. 136.—Monœcia Pentandria, Linn. Corymbiferæ, Juss.
Root fibrous; stem solitary, erect, branched, from three to six feet high, furrowed, downy; leaves on long petioles, cordate, lobed, serrate, scabrous, three-nerved at the base; clusters axillar, of four or five fertile, and one or two barren flowers, which are green; nuts densely armed, and furnished with two beaks.