Although Anemone is found primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, several species exist in the temperate or montane regions of the Southern Hemisphere. Nuclear ITS and chloroplast rbcL-atpB spacer sequences have resolved the relationships between and among some Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere species. The resulting phylogeny, which is largely congruent with a tree based on chloroplast restriction site data, suggests a variety of dispersal patterns. Several species in the Southern Hemisphere conform to a pattern typical of a Gondwanan distribution: species from South Africa (A. caffra, A. knowltonia) and Tasmania (A. crassifolia) are found in the same clade. Another Southern Hemisphere species from Kenya (A. thomsonii), is sister to a Mediterranean species (A. blanda), indicating a north-south dispersal event. More intriguing still is the close affinity between a New Zealand endemic (A. tenuicaulis) and species from the Northern Hemisphere (e.g. A. dichotoma), suggesting dispersal along an island chain with subsequent extinction of all ancestral species.

Key words: Anemone, biogeography, Ranunculaceae, rbcL-atpB spacer