The Mealy Amazon is mainly green. The back and nape often have a whitish tinge; almost as if it had been covered in a thin layer of flour (“meal”; hence its name). The distal half of the tail is paler and more yellow than the basal half, thus resulting in a distinctly bi-coloured look. In flight it shows a bluish-black trailing edge to the wing and a conspicuous red speculum. Occasionally a few yellow feathers are apparent on the top of the head and two subspecies, virenticeps and guatemalae, have a bluish-tinged crown.