Annual and perennial herbs, often scrambling or climbing and generally fleshy, the perennials often with tuberous roots. Leaves alternate, often peltate, the stalks long and sometimes twining; stipules present but may be minute. Flowers bisexual, irregular, solitary on long stalks in the leaf axils, mostly 5-parted. Sepals 5, united, 1 with an extended nectar-producing spur. Petals 5(2), free, entire or lobed. Stamens 8. Carpels 3, united. Ovary superior, 3-chambered, each chamber with 1 ovule. Fruit of 3 nutlets.
Seeds of T. majus are sometimes pickled.
Mostly fleshy, scrambling or climbing plants with an acrid sap and twining leaf stalks; flowers irregular, with 1 sepal spurred; stamens 8.
3 genera and 88 species from mostly montane C and S America.
Sparre & Andersson (1991).
Source: (2002). Tropaeolaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.