Salvia pachyphylla, as currently recognized, has a disjunct distribution. One large division occurs along the mountain ranges of southern California, Nevada, and the northern part of Baja California Norte, Mexico. The second smaller division occurs in the eastern part of Arizona near Winslow. This curious distribution raised questions as to the plants original distribution and the evolutionary processes, specifically adaptive radiation, which has occurred. To answer these questions, Salvia pachyphylla and close relatives of the Salvia dorrii complex have been examined to determine the relationship between Salvia pachyphylla and the other members of the complex using molecular techniques. The independent data set derived from nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) sequences (ITS-1 and ITS-2) were correlated with morphological characters. These results were used to determine where the most sequence diversity occurred and the adaptive radiation point of the original population. The information from this study will be used for conservation planning for populations of Salvia pachyphylla and related species.

Key words: Adaptive radiation, ITS 1 and 2, Lamiaceae, Molecular systematics, Phylogeny, Salvia