The Anthemideae is primarily an Old World tribe that occurs mostly in north temperate regions, with centers of endemism in Mediterranean climates including the Iberian Peninsula of Europe and North Africa, as well in as the Cape Province of South Africa. It contains numerous cultivars, such as daisies and chrysanthemums, and also includes ecologically-important and widespread species such as sagebrush. The tribe is composed of 109 genera and 1700 species, however, the majority of species comprise five large core genera of 100+ species each, including Artemisia/Seriphidium, Tanacetum, Achillea and Anthemis. Molecular phylogenies based on chloroplast gene ndhF and the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of nrDNA place several South African genera in a basal grade. The phylogenies also support an early divergence between members that occur in Far East Asia and the western Eurasian region. These two major clades are sister to clades that are also centered in South Africa. A South African origin for the Anthemideae is in contrast to previous hypotheses that the tribe originated in Eurasia, with an early vicariant event resulting in relictual members occurring in South Africa. In addition, derived placements of all five core genera indicate that these large and geographically-widespread genera are recent. There is little congruence with taxonomy and morphologically-based phylogenies, with considerable homoplasy in the morphological characters.

Key words: Anthemideae, Asteraceae, phylogeny, South Africa