Chione DC. is a genus of rare trees and shrubs native to neotropical wet forests. The definition of this genus was previously unclear, it never having been the subject of taxonomic revision. A clear definition of Chione is necessary in order for it to be properly represented in phylogenetic analyses at the level of tribe, subfamily, and family. For this reason, and to improve understanding of neotropical flora taxonomy, a monographic treatment and phylogenetic reconstruction of Chione was undertaken. Results from morphological and DNA sequence (ITS 1&2 region of nuclear ribosomal DNA) data have shown Chione s.l. to be composed of two divergent lineages. The definitions of Chione s.s. and the new segregate genus Colleteria D. W. Taylor (unpublished) will be discussed. In addition, a phylogenetic reconstruction of Chione s.s. (based on data from the 5S NTS region of nuclear ribosomal DNA) will be presented.

Key words: Chione, Colleteria, neotropical, Rubiaceae, systematics, taxonomy