Liquid chromatography coupled to negative electrospray ionization (ESI) tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) employing a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer was used in the structural determination of acylated flavonoid-O-glycosides and methoxylated flavonoids occurring in Tagetes maxima. The compounds were identified by experiments in full scan mode (MS), and tandem mass experiments (MS/MS) of precursor ion scan, product ion scan, and neutral loss scan modes. In order to characterize the aglycones of the flavonoid glycosides, in-source fragmentation of the deprotonated molecule [MH]− followed by product ion scan of the resulting aglycone [AH]− were performed. This combined approach allowed the identification of 51 phenolic compounds, including flavonoid-O-glycosides acylated with galloyl, protocatechuoyl, coumaroyl or caffeoyl groups, methoxylated flavonoids, and hydroxycinnamic acid and phenolic acid derivatives, none of them previously reported in Tagetes maxima. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.