Empirical evidence for the climate variability and performance trade-off hypotheses is limited to animals, and it is unclear whether climate constrains the photosynthetic strategies of plants. The plant genus Scalesia Arn. ex Lindl (family Asteraceae), endemic to the Galápagos archipelago, provides an ideal study system to test these hypotheses because of its species with markedly different leaf morphol-ogies that occupy distinct climatic zones. In this study we tested the classic hypotheses that (1) climate constrains leaf size, (2) high climatic temperature variability selects for thermal generalists (i.e., the climate variability hypothesis), and (3) there is a trade-off between the breadth and rate of photosynthetic performance (i.e., jack-of-all-trades but master of none hypothesis). To do this we measured the leaf morphol-ogies and photosynthetic temperature response curves of 11 Scalesia species. In support of a priori predictions, we found that small-leaved Scalesia species were more likely to occupy hotter and drier climates than large-leaved species, there was a positive relationship between climatic temperature variability and the breadth of photosynthetic per-formance, and photosynthetic performance was negatively correlated with photosynthetic breadth. Our study is among the first to provide evidence for the performance-breadth trade-off hypothesis in photo-synthesis, suggesting that climate change may select for photosynthetic thermal generalists.