The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Tropaeolum kingii Phil.

Place of Publication

Anales Univ. Chile 41: 684 (1872)

Type citation

Chile, Atacama Region, Yerbas Buenas, King 7 (holotype: SGO; Isotype: E E00070780).



  • Philippi R.A. (1872)

    Philippi, R.A. 1872. Descripcion de las plantas nuevas incorporadas últimamente en el herbario chileno. Anales de la Universidad de Chile 41: 663-746

  • Watson & Flores (2010c)

    Watson, J.M. and Flores, A.R. 2010c. A synopsis of perennial tuberous Tropaeolum L. Section Chilensia Sparre (Tropaeoleaceae), including validation of three subsections and a new, reclassified natural hybrid. Herbertia 64: 150-281


  • Watson & Flores (2010c): Figs. 73-77


Atacama and Coquimbo

Distribution and habitat

A 350 km distribution between Copiapó and Monte Patria, with the main concentration found in Coquimbo Region, about 80 km to the south of the Elqui valley. It occupies elevations of between 900 to1500 m (Watson & Flores 2010c). Grows in intermittent flowering desert to the north of its range, and with xerophyllous, small-leaved, evergreen shrub and woodland relief of the higher interior, including Andean foothills, which is common habitat (Watson & Flores 2010c).


  • Watson & Flores (2010c)

Key characteristics

A very distinctive species and unlike any other Chilean species. The variable but always distinctly pale corolla colour of cream, greenish to brownish yellow or pale lemon is very distinctive. It has a prominent, striped, upcurved spur at least 10 mm long terminating the green- or brown-patterned calyx which can also be quite dark chocolate brown overall. Foliage is characterised by its narrow linear to sublinear divisions exceeding 1 mm in width (Watson & Flores 2010c).