Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Tropaeolum majus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: TropaeolaceaeView Description 
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, +- fleshy, generally +- glabrous; often twining by petioles; roots tuber-like or not. Stem: prostrate. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, peltate [(or not)]; blade << petiole, entire, toothed, lobed, or dissected, veins generally palmate; stipules often 0. Inflorescence: flower generally 1 on long, axillary pedicel. Flower: showy, bisexual, generally bilateral; sepals 5, uppermost (adaxial) generally long-spurred; petals generally 5, clawed, upper 2 unlike lower 3; stamens 8, in 2 whorls, unequal; ovary superior, lobes 3, chambers 3, placentas axile, style 1, >> ovary, 3-parted near tip, stigmas 3. Fruit: separating into 3 generally nut-like, 1-seeded segments (= mericarps).
Genera In Family: 1 genus, +- 90 species: Mexico to South America; some cultivated.
Unabridged Note: 2 additional stamens opposite petals +- abortive.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: TropaeolumView Description 

Etymology: (Greek: trophy, from shield-like leaves)
Reference: Andersson & Andersson 2000 Taxon 49:721--736
Tropaeolum majus L.
Stem: > 1 m. Leaf: petiole 5--25 cm; blade 3--12 cm wide, round to +- reniform, veins palmate. Inflorescence: peduncle < 20 cm. Flower: 2.5--6 cm diam; sepals > 2 cm, +- ovate, +- tan, nectar spur > 3 cm; petals > 4.5 cm, generally orange or yellow with +- orange marks, claws of lower 3 > 1.5 cm, fringed near top. Fruit: > 1.5 cm, > 2 cm wide; segments broadly ovate, deeply lobed.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, moist or shaded areas in coastal scrub, wooded flats or slopes; Elevation: < 450 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, s ChI; Distribution Outside California: Abundantly cultivated, often naturalized. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun Note: Originated in cultivation.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Reference: Andersson & Andersson 2000 Taxon 49:721--736
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Tropaeolum majus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 13, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 13, 2024.

Tropaeolum majus
click for enlargement
©2009 Neal Kramer
Tropaeolum majus
click for enlargement
©2009 Neal Kramer
Tropaeolum majus
click for enlargement
©2009 Neal Kramer
Tropaeolum majus
click for enlargement
©2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Tropaeolum majus
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Tropaeolum majus:
NCo, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, s ChI
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).