Polemonium consists of an estimated 28 species. Its distribution is almost entirely Northern Hemisphere, with a single species also occurring in Chile. The majority of recent phylogenetic studies of this genus have focused on the seven alpine species, and have neglected the remainder of the genus. Despite recent allegations that the alpine members constitute a monophyletic group that may have evolved from the subalpine P. pulcherrimum, ITS sequence data provide a phylogeny where the alpine species are not monophyletic. It is apparent that rather than undertaking further investigations of relationships of subsets of Polemonium, it is more important at present to explore the phylogeny of the entire genus. Results of this study show several patterns: 1) Polemonium is a strongly supported monophyletic genus; 2) the annual P. micranthum is sister to the rest of the genus (all perennials); 3) the Mexican-southwestern P. pauciflorum and P. mexicanum form a monophyletic group; 4) at least two species, P. caeruleum and the western North American P. pulcherrimum, are not monophyletic. Ultimately these results will allow a determination of the actual number of lineages within Polemonium.

Key words: ITS, phylogenetic, Polemoniaceae, Polemonium